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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  September 11, 2010 2:00pm-6:15pm EDT

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coverage of aviation official reaction to 9/11. hosted by the university of dallas, this is live coverage. >> welcome. the university of texas, dallas, the library, and the history of aviation welcome you to our signature event, " navigating chaos: aviation's response to 9/11." before we begin, i like to ask you to turn off your cell phones. i am the dean of libraries and undergraduate education here at the university of texas, dallas. it was not quite three months ago when we began planning for this event, when an author visited our campus to speak in a lecture series that we offer every summer. it was then that we realized
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that the experiences of individuals from her book would make a unique and remarkable panel discussion and offered a seldom explored insight into 9/11. we want to thank everyone involved in the planning of this symposium, especially the members of the mcdermott library of the history of aviation council who helped sponsor this program. now, in the interest of time, please welcome our president, the president of the university of texas, dallas, dr. david daniel. [applause] >> thank you dr., both for the idea of this program, and for the execution of this program. we are proud to host this very special event. we are also looking forward to
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hearing from our student of a cappella group in just a few moments. we are very pleased to welcome our guests and panelist to the university. we are a young and rapidly growing institution that is deeply focused on and committed to excellence. why do we sponsor events like this one? for several reasons. a university is a place where we are objectively examine historical event and learn from them. the events surrounding 9/11 are particularly important because there are some many compelling stories to be shared. the university campus is a common ground where people gathered to explore various subjects, even those that generate strong emotions. this university is a place where everyone is welcomed and encouraged to learn about the world a wheelchair and the people with whom we share the world. -- the world we all share, and
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the people with whom we share that world. 9/11 was a day with which we all struggle to cope with the enormity and tragedy of human loss and one of the most difficult and sobering days in the lives of rna -- and a life of our nation. -- in a the life of our nation. we will hear about the individual experiences of aviators and air-traffic controllers, and perhaps about the perspective these individuals have gained in the nine years and since those events. and now, please join me in welcoming the mayor of the city of richardson. [applause] >> thank you. often we were -- often, we are
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asked, where were you on september 11th, 2001. i was on a flight to new york, and american airlines flight, that was turned back to dallas tx. i will be anxious to hear what the panel has to say today. i do have a proclamation from the city of richardson which i will read to you. whereas on september 11th, two dozen one, the united states was attacked without warning -- two the united states was attacked without warning by radical terrorists, and whereas the chaos created by these tax caused an unprecedented danger to the united states -- created by these attacks caused an
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unprecedented danger to the united states, and whereas the event placed an immediate end enormous burden upon american commercial and military pilots, traffic controllers, and ground transportation personnel to react and protected the united states with improvised and critical decision making, and whereas their actions in the midst of this mass confusion and severe communication difficulties resulted in the safe landing of thousands of aircraft, and whereas these individuals are a true american heroes who performed under arrest during a period of danger to the united states of america, -- performed under during a period of danger
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to the united states of america , now therefore, i, the mayor of the city of richardson, do hereby declared today, september 11th, 2010, as 9/11 pilot and air traffic controller day in the city of richardson, and ask the residents of appropriately observed the meaning of this day through their thoughts, words and deeds. [no audio] [applause] >> notice -- please stand as
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our student a cappella groups things our national anthem. -- sings our national anthem, followed by a moment of silence. >> oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed as the twilight's last gleaming, whose stripes and abroad stars, through the perilous fight, over the ramparts we watched were so gallantly
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streaming. thethe rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave, over the land and the, of the grave. brave. home of the brave. [moment of silence]
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>> thank you. we welcome back a very special person without him this event would not have been possible. though not flying on september 11th, 2001, as a pilot she quickly felt the frustration and torment felt by many of her fellow pilots and air traffic controllers thrown into the chaos of 9/11. she was inspired to write a
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definitive account of that day's events. our panelists are many of the people she interviewed for that book. it is with gratitude that we welcome back lynn spencer, who will moderate a panel on. -- will moderate of the panel. [applause] >> thank you to everybody for the opportunity to be here today. a special press is to the staff of the university of texas, dallas, -- a special thank you to the staff of the university of texas, dallas, who made this possible. september a 11th, nine years ago today, was our nation's second pearl harbor. and when the smoke cleared, the loss was actually greater.
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all of us can remember where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt as the news of the attacks was broadcast over all of the news networks. most of us had the opportunity to experience those attacks through our televisions, most in the privacy of our own homes, where we were able to take in and process, and grieve over what was occurring. the people that we will be talking with today did not have that luxury of learning about the events on their televisions. these were the individuals that were on the front lines that day. they were the men and women who could not watch it on tv, but had to respond.
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they had to act. they had no time to grieve. they had no time to plan. they had no time to prepare. we had not prepared for what happened that day. they were called upon to improvise. their actions and their decisions could either cost lives or save lives. for me, as an airline pilot, the was not flying that day, i had a burning desire to understand what it was like for these people that were in the air traffic control facility, and the cockpit, and in the military battle pats and command centers. none of what i knew about aviation seemed to apply to what happened that day. so it was with this a burning desire to know these answers that i set out to talk to these people and to learn about their
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perspectives. it is with a sincere gratitude and appreciation of that these people are here today and that they are here to talk to us all about to their perspective. it is my belief that our nation's legacy of that todaday cannot be complete until we hear from these people and until we understand what happened in that the air. these attacks were born out of four commercial airliners being hijacked. this was an air attack on the united states. although the devastating effects were lived and relived on our televisions from the graphic images coming out of the new york and the pentagon and pennsylvania, until we can understand how it happened, and
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why the response was what it was, we cannot fully understand the events in context. our legacy cannot be complete until we hear from these people. so, i hope you will leave here today with a greater understanding a september 11th, 2001. it is my hope that you will leave here with a sense of pride for the bravery that was shown by these people, their ingenuity, their resourcefulness, their courage. also, perhaps most importantly, i hope you leave here today with the realization that had it not been for the acts of these people, 9/11 could have been a much greater tragedy than it was.
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we are going to start off today with the air traffic control perspective of september 11th. before i introduce our panelists, i would like to share a few thoughts and kind of set the stage for these people. the job of an air traffic controller is a very unique job. as a general rule, air-traffic controllers like to control. they like to be in control. their jobs are high stress, a fast pace, highly structured, highly regimented. if they do everything by the buck. they are very -- they do everything by the book. they are very predictable in what they expect you to do and what they will do in response.
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hijackings were a thing of the past, pretty much, in 2001. september 11th was a beautiful day, a severe clear, in pilot speak. air-traffic controllers were expecting a pretty good day. there were no severe weather systems to deal with. hijackings were the last thing on their mind that today. on that day, none of the rules that they knew applied. the situation demanded that they improvise. without further delay, i would like to introduce to the panel members. first i would like to start with the air traffic controller at washington national air force facility, dan creden. next, the national commander at
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the faa command center on 9/11. and the air traffic controller at boston center and military liaison. >> i will start off with a question for all of you. answer in whatever order you want to. you do not necessarily need to go down the line. on september 11th, it took some time for the air traffic facilities and the military to figure out what was happening. i would like to hear from each of you, how did you figure out what was happening on that day?
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>> good morning. >> sorry. before we get into the first question -- sorry about this. before we get into the first question. why do you not all tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you were doing that day? where you were at, what was expected? let's set the stage. >> on 9/11, was the air traffic controller at the washington national air trans. i was responsible for their departure from the capital going eased down. it was a crazy day. -- going eastbound. it was a crazy day. >> i was the national operations manager on 9/11. that is a position located in the washington area that has
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overarching authority over the nation's airspace. that was my chart on that day, the safe and efficient operation of the nation's aerospace. >> on 9/11, i was assigned to the boston tunnel as an air- traffic controller. i also do military specialist duties as assigned as well. on that day, i normally do not work on the operational floor, and i was called down to the operational floor at about 8:30 a.m. that morning. >> so can we hear from you have you made sense of what was happening and how you learned it was not going to be a nice clear day? >> for me, at washington national, at the radar facility for the nation's capital, we first heard about new york.
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people at, felt that watching television had a better picture of -- people at home watching television had a better picture of what was happening then we did at my facility. everything going through new york had stopped, we heard. then we heard that an aircraft had hit one of the towers. we were not quite sure what was going on in there. then we heard that a second tower was hit. my heart just sank. i knew. it was going to be a bad day. for me personally, it was not until we spotted american 77 on its way to crash into the pentagon, 3.5 seconds out, that is when reality hit,
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accordi home for me. >> that was my first day on the job as national operations manager. [laughter] when i got up that morning and looked at the weather channel and saw that the entire east coast had a severe clear, i thought it would be a good first day. i anticipated and nothing but the best. in the command center, we do actually monitor cnn in the theory that most news of a disaster will be first broadcast by the media in the early morning. i had a cnn on right at my desk. we usually have the sound down, but we are monitoring it is
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generally. at the time, when we learned of the hijacking of american 11, was about to go to a meeting just before 8:30 a.m., and the supervisor designated to stand in my place in my absence called me to say that they were reporting a hijacking garrett i was surprised, because -- i was surprised, because i had not heard about the hijacking for years. i think the last one was in the 1990's. my experience was hijackings -- with hijackings, and our protocol for hijackings was that we cooperate. we do anything we can to facilitate the route of flight that the pilot wants.
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i did not think it was urgent. i went to the meeting. the supervisor came in with the intimation that a flight attendant had been stabbed. i returned to my duties on the floor. while we were focused on american 11, the military liaison came up to me and said, you may want to put cnn on upon the big screen. we have eight or 10 large screens that we used to depict information, and other meteorological or air traffic. cnn was reporting that a small plane had struck the world trade center. of course, as soon as we put the screens up, we knew from the size of the conflagration bet it
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was american 11, although we had no confirmation of that. we shut down traffic going into the new york area. as we were standing there discussing it, we saw united 175 come around and strike the south tower. that was a horrible scene, as you all will agree. i am sure most of you have seen it replayed from that day. there were 40 people working in that room. there was a collective gasp of hauberk and dead silence -- of horror and dead silence. most people knew at that time that it was definitely a american and 11 in in the north tower, and that this was not a usual hijack by some deranged
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individual wanting to go to cuba or released prisoners, or some other story, but that this was a concerted action by a group of people and that truly america was under attack. >> my day on the morning -- normally come in to work around 7:30 a.m.. it was a gorgeous day in new england. i came in after taking an hour off of the front of the day. i still cannot remember what i did with that power. i came in at 8:25 a.m. the last hijacking we had was in 1993. all i could remember from the last one it was that faa managers want to get involved with the hijack. i remember going downstairs at the time and seeing a way too
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many people around one scope and most people getting into the way. my intention was not to get in the way, to just wait for someone to call me. a supervisor asked me to come and sit at the military desk if i could. i do not normally sit at that position, but i write all of the procedures for it, so i understand the position probably better than anybody who works it, so i sat there. we had heard about american 11, about the violence on the aircraft, and about the distance from new york. the plane was supposed to be at 35,000 feet and it was at 29,000 feet. our concern was that they were headed toward a new york center and we did not know their altitude.
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we were trying to get fighters up to escort the aircraft. there was no mention at all in our rules about intercepted in the aircraft. they just get behind it and follow it, which is what they did in 1993. we were trying to get them on board as well, but the military command was in contact with that day, my original concern was to find out the altitude. did they have altitude finding capability on the same radar we use. we wanted to know their altitude. we knew it was a hijacker, but we did not know the altitude because they turned the transponder off. we watched his ground speed. we were trying to give that to information to the military. they could not spot the
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aircraft. he ended up going down to new york air space. we transferred over to new york center. we attempted to talk to new york about it and they told us they were too busy dealing with the hijack. we thought they were talking about american 11, so we would lead to be. it turned out they were talking about united 175, so there was a lack of communication. and then we heard that a plane hit the tower. we did not think it was american 11, he would not have done that. we thought it was a small aircraft, a single pilot. our assumption was that it was some other aircraft. we did not have cnn. we started talking and we started getting some locator transmissions coming from the tower, which happens when an aircraft hits.
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it was about 12 minutes later that united 175 hit, and that is when we knew we were under attack. >> a couple of follow-ups on the comments you have made. dan, it seems like you were not even aware that there were airliner's hitting the towers until 177. >> a major theme is miscommunication. the command centers were trying to get a hold of the situation on a national perspective. we did not even know the full gravity of the situation in new york. we heard both towers had been head. we thought this was a terrorist situation. this was bad.
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it was not confirmed to us that it was a larger aircraft, let alone an air carrier. go for 06 was the call sign, he was making a turn just southeast of the pentagon, when american 77 was acquired on our scope, and i forced the word look upon the track just to get ground information on the guy. we saw him coming in fast, but not outrageous. i said, you'd better call traffic on that guy because these two guys are head to head. he said, traffic, do you see anybody out there?
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the pilot said, yes, we are turning southeast pound. -- southeastbound. i really did not understand that was a hijacked aircraft until it hit the pentagon. somebody ran into the break room and looked at cnn. that is when we learned that there was an issue in new york with air carriers. we were trying to juggle big decisions there. there was some sketches and some miscommunication back-and-forth
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, and some slowness in realizing that we were dealing with an additional hijack, because by gosh, we already had two. >> you talked about the fact that you did not see a need to show right upon the scene because he thought they were dealing with a hijacking, adding experience, hijackings are not very interesting. >> typically, you sit back and follow them. it is a pretty boring event. with too many people standing around, they get in the way. there is only so much room around the radarscope. i never got the opportunity to go down to the area. i do not know really what people were watching.
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mye talked to some of controller friends who said that it was a lot different than anything they had ever worked before. there was screaming on as a frequency that was upsetting to the controllers. a good friend of mine that i went to the faa academy with still has problems with it today. i worked in that position pretty much the whole day, and of course, other events happened throughout the day, but that was the beginning of a long day, with the overwhelming amount of information that i received during the day. >> after the attacks expanded, there is a hijacking, then a strike at the north tower. at first, there is no connection that they are one and the same. then you mentioned seeing 175 hit the south tower.
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as the attacks expanded, a lot of air traffic control facilities made the decision to shut down operations. there were airports where the managers decided that they were going to shut down air traffic control towers. i know that your center was evacuated. how do these shutdowns affect all of your operations and how you are handling air-traffic? >> as far as the aerospace shutdown for the washington, d.c. area, i have to give credit to my supervisor. he made some great calls. we did not wait for a phone call from anyone. as soon as 77 hit the pentagon, it was obvious that no one should get near washington. an aircraft headed for washington national was turned away.
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guys outside of dulles airport, a turnaround. we could not trust any crew. we did not know what we were dealing with. there was a concern about united 93 heading in our general vicinity. there is a lot of information about that, but we knew he was coming. we knew he was 20 minutes away or something like that. my operations manager made the call, the senior manager on duty that day, get the tower cleared out. get these guys out of there. we are sure they will not hit the airports, they will probably try to hit something downtown. the pentagon was burning. we set up a temporary control tower on the airfield for the personnel out there, but the trade tower itself, we never
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stopped. of course, we were two stories below sea level with a bunch of concrete around. >> you try to get word to the tower to evacuate and they were not picking up the line. >> i wasn't talking to my friend -- i was talking to my friend, and i grabbed my operations manager, told him what was going on. we cannot get through to the control tower. i jumped on the elevator, which was a very uneasy feeling, got on the elevator with my friend
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and said, we have to get to the tower, have to tell them to get out. i went up there and saw the black smoke. all use of flying through the air was paper. -- all you saw flying through the air was paper. it was crazy, crazy, crazy. >> that was from the pentagon. >> that was the pentagon. >> how did you respond to these shutdowns as they began to occur? >> the ability to provide air- traffic control services was nil. we issued orders that no aircraft could take off to go through new york or to new york.
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that was fairly easily accomplished. any facility that did evacuate, i was not cognizant of what occurred thereafter. i am aware of one tower that evacuating that was told to return. i do not remember which one it was. so there was no disruption in service from the command centers point of view. in conjunction with new york, at that time, there was an unspecified problem. they alluded to the fact that they were having problems similar to boston's, which we took to be another hijacking. that happened rather rapidly. the time between when he turned of the transponder to when he impacted was only about 11-12 minutes.
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all four were airborne before the first one is struck the north tower. the command center is in the business of regulating aircraft, and we put a stop obviously, to new york, to boston, and to washington center employ. we also stopped all los angeles baton to flights on the theory that there was some nexus -- los angeles-bound flights on the theory that there was some nexus, and we also stopped all flights coming from los angeles. following the crash into the south tower, we ordered a national stock, which meant a
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that no aircraft could leave the ground -- and national stop, which meant that no aircraft could leave the ground anywhere in the country. we also gave the order to evacuate any airport, regardless of the destination. -- we also gave the order to land at any airport, regardless of the destination. the pilots and flight attendants on those flights must be commended for their ability to keep people calm. a pilot is in charge of their own aircraft.
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we can tell them where to go, where to land, but when the airport -- but when the order came out to land and nearest airport regardless of the destination, i had expected some push back. a four hundred aircraft -- out of four hundred aircraft in the air, i only got one request to land at an airport that was not the nearest one. i refused the request, because i was concerned that the captain may have been underdress, perhaps high debt. -- hijacked. i do not think the aviation industry got the things that they deserve from the american public -- the thanks that they
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deserve from the american public, not that the focus should not have done the first responders to deserve all of the praise that they got and should get, but for all of the pilots to land planes other than where they should be, to shut down the borders and direct flights away from our country, that had never happened before. this was not only executed flawlessly by the american aviation community, but by the canadians, the mexicans, and the europeans. my hat is off to all of them for their flawless execution of a bad situation on that day. >> if i could build on that, it is tough to fathom 4556
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aircraft -- never in the history of aerospace -- they're all going to land. to put 4500 aircraft on the ground in places where they were not supposed to go at the same time that the military is trying to get airborne and control the chaos is an incredible feat of air traffic controllers and air traffic managers coordinating that. >> just to give us some perspective, i believe 700 landed within the first 10 minutes and 3500 within the first hour. the rest within the second hour. it took about two hours to clear all of our skies. our idea at the command center was to separate the wheat from the chaff. anyone we could control and get on the ground was obviously not
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someone we had to worry about. the military fighters were already scrambling to get into the airspace. we wanted to let them do their job and take care of what ever else might need to be done. of course, united 93 -- what i remember most about that aircraft is that we were aware of the fact that he was about 20-30 minutes out from washington. we had a report from a small, private aircraft pilot who sought united 93 waggling his wings. that through a lot of ambiguity into this situation, because signal thatniversal cigna the pilot has lost radio.
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a plane could lose an electronic system, their ability to communicate, even their ability to navigate. even at that junction, minutes before the aircraft hit the ground in pennsylvania, we were still wondering whether it was truly hijacked. we never received any confirmation of hijacking, which in my 40-50 years of aviation, i've always had a confirmation of the hijack, either from the pilot himself or from the hijacker. they would enable us to know. there is never been a situation where hijackers ever flew the plane. that created the biggest paradox for us on that day in trying to figure out what was going on. how could a hijacker forced the pilot, either by holding a gun or a knife to his head, force them to plan to the building -- force them to fly into the building.
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we have all heard about pilots executing heroic actions of flying a plane into an area where it would call the least damage. i cannot imagine how a pilot would be forced to fly into a building. it was inconceivable to me and inconceivable to my staff and i think to all air traffic controllers that that would happen. i learned to expand our thoughts about these things based on 9/11, and i am sure we will not be caught again in that situation. >> when i talk to you during my research, you mentioned the boston center at one point was considered a target. i remember some of the staff there mentioned that it makes
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perfect sense, if you're going to take out airliners, to take up the air traffic control facilities so that they cannot even monitor and see what is happening in the air space. at some point that morning, boston center was evacuated. could you share with us -- you did not leave the building when that order first came out. could you tell everyone about that? >> there were a lot of things going on at different times. we originally had an unidentified aircraft south of nantucket coming in at high speed at about 25,000 feet. our assumption was that it was a coast guard aircraft. that is where they come in from bermuda. we eventually did get a hold of the aircraft, but but for a while it was on the track the we are on.
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we identified the aircraft, got him and he landed. however, someone had taken the initial calls and determined that that possibly was another 77 on track to boston center. we found that out a couple weeks after 9/11. we got calls that hour facility was going to be attacked by an aircraft and we started to evacuate. i was upstairs in my office usually, because i is not always essential. that-i was essential, so i was on the floor. -- that day i was essential, so i was on the floor. someone determined that there was a bomb in the day care center located adjacent to the facility. we were under the premise is that we were going to get hit.
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at some point in time. it was imminent, is what we were told. every air traffic controller was under orders to get every airplane down. they were told to leave as soon as they got their aircraft down. they did what they were told to do, and as each one dead, they left. my responsibility then was -- as they, was toonsibility thaen determine if there were additional hijacked aircraft. we have about 20 that we thought were potentially hijacked aircraft. i remember talking to the montreal center, the toronto them thatd telling
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we were evacuating. if someone called us on the fun and told us they were turning off their air space, we would be -- on the telephone and told us they were turning off their air space, we would be shot. they took it in stride. -- we would be shocked. they took it in stride. i was concerned for the people at the pentagon. i have a lot of emotion running through mae. my wife had business next door to us, and i thought if a 757 hit and was just a little bit off, it would hit where she works. there was a lot going through me.
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i was trying to get all of my telephone calls in, and my last telephone call was to the center that didn't unbelievable job that day landing aircraft in -- that did and an unbelievable job the day of landing aircraft and halifax. i thought i had been professional and done a good job. i did not find out until a few weeks later how well i did, because i did not get to hear my conversations right away like other people did. the last call i made was the first time my voice cracked. when i hung up, i knew i had to vacate the building. i was kind of matter myself, because i had heard tapes of crashes and things like that,
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and you cannot believe how professional pilots are in extreme cases. they are going down, and they will talk to you like nothing is happening. i wanted to be that way, beso i was kind of mad myself that on my last call my voice started to crack a little bit. our building was built in 1963. since then, it was occupied twenty-four's/7. -- 24/7. this was the first time it would be empty. i remember waiting to see a plane coming into the sky while i was sitting there. we evacuated, came back about 20 minutes later, got the all clear. i was about the third person
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back in the building. we had gotten all the planes on the ground, with the exception of a few military aircraft. we had a pilot on speaker saying, is anybody there, boston center? [laughter] i said, where are you at? they said where they were and that they were talking to the tower. i said that was good. they will clear you to land. there are a lot of terms we use with initials and stuff. we had an fstp office. i have no idea what that stands for, but they have a room in the building. it is the only room with no speaker, so they never evacuated.
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one guy came upstairs and look in the control room, where we usually have a hundred and 50 people at any given time, and he came up and said, there is nobody here. [laughter] they could not understand it. they went back inside, shut the door and stage. [laughter] so we thought we had evacuated the building. we had not. we actually left three people in the building. >> september 11th was your first day on the job at the national command center. when you discovered the new york had shut down its -- you said how new york had shut down its airspace. you stopped all flights to and from los angeles. you were trying to minimize what was happening. it stopped all aircraft from taking off.
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16 minutes, 17 minutes after you porter all aircraft to stop taking off is when -- after you ordered all aircraft to stop taking off is when the command came to land everything. what was your mindset? how did you come to the point to thatthat historic call had never been done, and were you thinking that your first day on your job might be a last? [laughter] >> after 175 struck the south tower, i call the supervisor and told him to think about issuing a national ground a stop order. they said they would get back to me, but they did not.
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[laughter] that was about 9:10 a.m. at 9:25 a.m. i gave the order not to do any more takeoffs. there was not much to do what the point except to land everyone. -- to do at that point except to land everyone. i had considered giving the order earlier. by the way, i have told my colleagues, but i am surrounded in a facility like this with about 40 type a personalities to are chewing off their arms to get something done. there was a lot of urgency by the individuals, and these people were no different, to do something, to do something positive. we kept reacting to news that we got. finally, i was reacting to
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american 77, but it was kind of like the last straw. at that juncture, i figured we had had enough. it did run through my mind that if it was the wrong decision, because it would have been very costly to misplace all of the parts of an airline to get that system functioning again, it would have been billions of dollars, but my only thought at that time was that i might go back to my law practice. [laughter] it is not that bad being a an air-trafficgh controller is a lot more interesting and exciting. i enjoy that career. it did run through my mind. i have a lot of staff the day you are willing to give me advice unsolicited. [laughter]
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i took it and try to keep things going. we had people in the command center to voice their concern about whether the facility was safe or not. of course, it does seem like a logical conclusion that you would try to take out a communications center. the good thing about the command center is that i do not think anyone in the country knew where in the hell we were [laughter] we are in a private building, a regular business outside of washington. you would not know we were there at all. i reassure the individuals that were concerned about our anonymity. >> dan, in washington, d.c., you were in a unique position, being in our nation's capital. you turned away all of the aircraft. nobody else is supposed to be coming into washington. the order has gone out to land
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everybody. you were dealing with the military, who had launched 16 fighters over washington. at the same time this was going on, you were faced with an unusual circumstance because the continuity of government plan went into effect, which was the plan to evacuate our most senior government officials in the event of attack, so you did have aircraft coming in and going out. how did you do that? >> to be clear, i was one of about five or six individuals to all just through the rules out the window and decided, let's
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get a plan. some of the jets that had been airborne had come back because they were out of fuel. i said we were going to figure this out. i told them i had to be honest. i was not a defense controller. air-traffic controllers try to keep airplanes apart. i needed quick schooling on what he needed from me. he said we needed a common spot and recalling the bull's-eye. he said it would be at the airport. he said it would vary in range and distance from that spot. he was setting up the fighter cap. that was the combat air patrol. we were trying to determine
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eight system. there are all of these targets. i cannot get into it in this setting, but these doomsday and continuity of government plans with different elements of the military and faa practiced every day to move the decision makers of washington to save, undisclosed location. that all happened that day. it had been developed for years and modified as things went on. but i do not think anybody really thought that you were looking for an attack from the air. here were all of these helicopters and various other things coming into the area to pick people up and fly them to save locations. they were airborne and armed. we did not trust anybody. he had to trust me. i have to trust him. that was the extent of the trust. how we did not inadvertently shoot down one of our own aircraft is really a testament to the guys that came in on top
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in the air traffic controllers calling the positions out to the aircraft. they had to positively identify every aircraft that came in. the people that came into swoop people out of the pentagon, flying severely injured to hospitals. one of the major trauma centers was near the white house. we had to fly over that. we had to make our own rules. it was pretty incredible. the decision for us in the washington area to get everyone down on the ground was a quick one. my supervisor made the decision on his own. it was a great decision. that part of our job was done. the big part was setting up a fighter cap and identifying all of the other aircraft and things coming and going in the air space. it was really an incredible few hours. >> you mentioned a couple of years back in the circumstance
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stuck with me. during this time as you have all the fighters over the city, you are breaking all of the rules. you had created your own rules on how you operate this day. there was an aircraft coming into d.c. -- obviously a government aircraft. you have determined how you were going to thread it through all the fighters circling the city. your supervisor walked into the room. >> when the attorney general is coming in, that is a different story. we will get to that if we have time. we did not know who it was. andrews air force base was recovering military leaders to go in there and do what they had to do. the deputy manager had rushed in. he was out of the building at the time of the debt.
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he will remain nameless. he is a very by the book type of guy. he walked in there as i am telling the other controller that there was an air force jet at 19,000 feet that had to get down to 2,000 feet to land at airforce -- enders' air force base. i said to the guy working that there were no rules, just send it through me and i will miss you. [laughter] this guy just looked at me and walked out. [laughter] it was a really good call. he knew he could not get involved in that. his place was to be out of the room at a time. he was good at that. the manager and i had a conversation later about what a good move that was. [laughter] i was calling me stuff out -- calling the stuff out.
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he would tell the appropriate aircraft in the area that it was a friendly. it was really pretty crazy. talking, when we're about a military response and the fighters over d.c. i do not think many people realize that the faa did not have compatible lines of communication with the military and norad that day. when they attempted to communicate they could not. you did not realize on that morning that the information going to the northeast and defense sector, who was coordinating our response for the northeastern part of the nine states, you did not realize that you were the only one giving them information about what aircraft were targets, which were hijacked, where they were, where they were suspect.
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you did not realize at the time that was the role you were playing. how did you get in that spot where you were giving them the information? how did it happen that you the only one giving them the information? >> when i went down to the floor, in the unique position i was in, i also work with the military all the time. i have a lot of letters of agreement with the military. i write a lauder letters about procedure in airspace. -- i write a lot of letters about procedure in airspace. i have probably dealt with the more than other facilities. others deal with them but not in the amount that i did. when i went to the floor and sat down at that position, one advantage i had was that the military has their own telephone system in defense switching network. i had the numbers numerous of
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the people i knew i needed to talk to. i had the number for the bottle cap, the aerospace manager, the i.t. section. i had those memorized. it was easy for me to dial in and call these people with what was going on. i had a lot of information coming in. they had started initial security telecom. when a anything passed over, i would immediately call them. after 20 or 30 minutes, i did not want to call them all the time. my assumption was that everyone was calling them and they were swamped with phone calls. i waited until i had information. i would wait for a minute or two and decide to call them. i would call and give them more information. they kept telling me to keep calling and giving them all the information. at certain times, i did not want to bother them with that much. a lot of the information i gave them was good information. some of it was misinformation
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passed on to me through a telcon as well. they did get a lot of good information from me. i had a good relationship with the northeast air defense command and a lot of the military units. i had personally met some of the pilots. i go to the range cancel meeting every year. i meet them there. i get to deal with the airspace officers. the pilot normally fills that job. it is probably a pilot it got in trouble and may make him the air space officer for a year. [laughter] they're not necessarily happy airspace officers, but that is their job. they do it for year. i have known a lot of them personally. i had a good feeling calling and talking to them to give them the information. i made numerous calls that day. in the 9/11 commission questions, a lot of the things i did, i did go outside of the protocol, but we also complied
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with the protocol. my steps that morning were more direct. the protocol was a circumvented process that goes through our region, through washington, to the military, to norad, backed down. i had a number for the last one and decided to call them myself. i requested to have them take some fighters out of atlantic city. they were no longer a scramble base of the time. at 9:00 every morning, there were probably be a couple of aircraft out there. i asked them to try to divert them and come on over. i did a lot of that throughout that day. i was trying to get them to come back. since i made all of my numbers on the defense switching network, they are not recorded. they are reported on the other end.
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about three days after 9/11, they interviewed me in my office. they had me come down to the quality assurance office. they said they only had one call from me on the hot line. i told them i made 40 phone calls. the asked where they were. i told them i put them on the dsn phone. i told them that we did not record them but others did and they could request the tapes. no one ever did. several years went by, i never got to him myself. the other controllers got to hear the statements and what they did. i had some problems dealing with it myself because i never got to hear what i said. i thought i did a good job that day. i made a bunch of phone calls. i could not remember the order and made them in. it would have been nice to hear my tapes and hear what i said, maybe get a better understanding of what i did on that day. two years went by. the 9/11 commission was meeting.
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they're starting to put the time line together. the time line was not matching up. the military and faa kept having some issues. they could not seem to match it up. somewhere, the department of justice decided to come out and interview people involved in 9/11. they came to interview me at boston center in 2003. they said they would interview me for about five minutes because i made one transmission. i told them i made like 40 transmissions. our five minute interview turned into about a 3 hour interview. a lot of things started setting up the time line a lot differently because of my conversations with the military that no one had any copies of. they are out there. they ended up going to the northeast. defence command. they pulled the tapes. they listened to the tapes for the first time. i was surprised they still have them. they pulled the tape and came back in january 2004.
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i finally got to hear my tapes. i do not know if you want to call it closure are not, but i needed to hear this. i remember going home that day and sitting out by my frozen pool in new england with the snow. i sat there and had a couple of beers. i finally got to sit back and relax. i finally got to see what i had done that day. >> colin scrambled jets on that day in defense of our country. there's only one person in washington who has the ability of the faa side to request the military scramble jets. that is the hijack coordinator. they are still looking for him. [laughter] colin took it upon himself to think outside the box and get the job done that day. [applause]
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>> one of the things i learned early on in doing my research is that the news had misrepresented the fact that they did not even know where the alert site was in the recalling atlantic city to get them to scramble. i knew from talking to colin that he knew very well who our alert facility was. he also knew that atlantic city had their training mission every morning and that they were out flying and might be closer. they might be able to get to new york city faster. those phone calls that were being made happened very early on in the morning. that is very noteworthy in this kind of overlooked.
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-- that is very noteworthy and is kind of overlooked. i do not want to steal the floor by being the only one asking questions. we would like to open up the floor to questions from the audience. i would like to give the students at the university the opportunity to ask questions first. that will be followed by any of the members of the audience. please ask one question at a time. if you have more than one question and there are other people waiting, please let them ask the question first before you ask your second question. if you have any questions, step up to one of the microphones at the front of the room. let's see what is on your mind. can you go to the microphone to ask your question? >> i remember on that day, my dad works in downtown dallas.
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i remember having no clue if it was four airplanes or 400 airplanes and wind it would end. do you know if your actions in bringing all the airplanes to the ground might have prevented someone from hijacking of this or sixth airplane? is there any way to tell? >> i do not believe there is any evidence i have read of that indicated there were more aircraft. i did hear stories about some aircraft were they found box cutters in the overhead and things of that nature. i do not know of any official report of that nature. >> some of the station managers of the traffic control facilities and air crews, there
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was an american airlines flight that did not get off the ground because of the new takeoff order. the fbi interviewed the crew. they had a group of young middle eastern men in first class that morning. they returned to the gate. the fbi talked to the crew about 15 times. that was briefly covered in the news and then no more was heard about that. that was at jfk, i believe. it was jfk, a los angeles flight that morning. it is hard to know. one thing happening that morning that was very interesting is that as the planes were being sent back to the gates, they were being offloaded of all the passengers and being pushed out of the airports being evacuated.
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the asked if they stopped the people from the american flight and arrested them at the gate. the airport was evacuating when the airplane that back to the gate. those people were being hustled from the airports and on to the streets as they were at airports across the country. they were quickly pushed out of the airports. >> in your book you mention operation guardian program for that day. how much did that complicate things? they were expecting an exercise. they could have misunderstood. how did that complicate things or how long did it take to get it straightened out? >> that was very interesting. i think it was very fortuitous that vigilant guardian was going on that day. that meant that all of the
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senior commanders at norad were in the bottle cap -- battle cap when this occurred. these commanders came to the realization that we were under attack fairly quickly and canceled the exercise. the net effect was that there was not confusion other than 41st minute or two -- other than for the first minute or two. it was very fortuitous that they were all in their command positions because of the exercise. >> couple of times on a call that morning, the first thing out of their mouth was to ask if it was real world or an exercise. the northeast air defense command -- it was pretty much over with. after talking to the commander over there, he said that they were probably more prepared on that day because they had extra
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people due to the exercise. >> it is interesting listening to the tapes. there is no doubt that when the first calls started coming in about a hijacked airliner, they said the exercise was on and here we go. there is no doubt it took a while. on one of the tapes, you could tell they were responding as if it were real world, even at the beginning when they were not sure if it was real or not. at one point, they hear about the crash into the new york skyline. at one point, one of the weapons controller said to the guy next to him that if this is an uprcise, this is one f'd exercise. [laughter] >> you alluded to incoming flights from overseas. perhaps coming from europe. i am going to guess that some
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coming from europe were diverted to canada. once an airliner starts out over the pond with a point of no return, there had to be some complications. was there anything that turned out to be a problem? i know it was not simple. was the remedy to divert as many of those to canada as you could? did you turn some back? were there any glitches in that or someone got close to running out of fuel on the way across the land? >> those routes across the land in in the ocean are structured. they are required to have a certain amount of fuel in the event of emergency. they would have either gone back to europe or we have greenland, iceland, and the canadian provinces all the way down. i was not concerned about an aircraft getting to a place to
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land at all. i knew that our procedures in setting of the north atlantic tracks in this case provide for that contingency. >> the town of gander in newfoundland, there is an interesting story on that. they have 5000 people. 10,000 people landed that day on 9/11. [laughter] the town doubled in size. the people in gander to all of these people into their houses. it was not like they have enough schools for them. everyone was taking to recruit people into their own homes. they had to keep them there for three or four days. -- everyone was taking two or three people into their own homes. they had to keep them there for three or four days. they did not want to break the airplanes that. they divided them up by neighborhoods so that when they
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had to pick them back up, they knew where to find them all for their airplanes. the town of gander was amazing, what they did. some landed in halifax. the town of gander took a lot of people. >> nbc in conjunction with the olympics broadcast a documentary that celebrated the humanity shown by those residents of the area. there was a tremendous outpouring. i am sure all of us can see in our mind's eye the queues of the aircraft sitting on the runways and the townspeople bringing these people into their homes. it was a tremendous display on the part of the canadians. i got a chance to personally thank them for that. i know they announced if i had any doubts about how to handle the air traffic. they handled it magnificently. -- i know they asked if i had
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any doubts about how to handle the air traffic. they handled it magnificently. >> that brings me to one of the things you told me when we were working on the book. you said it was actually not so hard to take them all down, but it was hard to put it all back together again. in talking about the airplanes coming in from overseas, there was one continental pilot that i spoke to. i only talked to him that day. i cannot talk about the cool stuff that happened later. there was a continental flight. when the flights were authorized to start taking off again and take off for the united states, the flights diverted with the first authorized to continue on to the united states. it was began their flight, this continental flight. -- it was this gander flight, this continental flight. they were given very specific
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takeoff times. you have to take off at that time or forget it. the schedulers at continental airlines called the captain and told him he had been cleared to launch out of gander and had to be off by 10:28 in the morning. the captain said that given i am 90 miles from the airport and my crew and passengers are scattered all over newfoundland [no audio] 38 other aircraft blocking in my aircraft on the runway. [laughter] the whole system was turned upside down. they had to work it back towards to get it all out. -- they have to work backwards to get it all out. >> it was tough to get it going again. as i told someone earlier today,
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the moment the last aircraft landed on 9/11, the command center was inundated with requests to fly. one i recall was the texas rangers -- not the baseball team. it was the highway patrol, the rangers. they needed to fly a helicopter to an accident site to get to a person who was badly injured. and looked at the specialist asking me to give permission for the helicopter to go get this person who was injured and wondered how i could possibly say no. but i was terrified that anything that got airborne like it shut down. i figured a low level helicopter in texas, go for it. [laughter] everyone was looking up in the
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northeast at that time. >> can you discuss the difficulty about communicating between the organizations? what changes have you made sense? since? >> what has to be set as have the faa coordinate's with norad now is completely different. the faa has changed top to bottom out all of that is done with decision makers in the loop. every facility in the nation is on at 24/7 conference call. everyone knows what is going on. there's all sorts of other stuff we cannot get into that is very impressive. one of the frustrating things that my facility -- at my facility was that i could not
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talk to norad directly. our phone lines were jammed with people calling wanting to make sure that their parents or kids were ok. at one point, it is shocking about the speaker phone was the best way to talk to them. it took them a few lines. today's to wire this and position. all of that has changed now. i do not foresee a communication problem or lack of information for decision makers in the loop problem ever again. the faa and the dot have done a good job of changing that. >> did have been -- the domestic network he is talking about is a telecommunications network of people with the military, customs, the dea, homeland defense. everyone is now co-located in
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the room in washington, d.c., where this has been going on 24/7 cents 9/11. we have improved dramatically our ability to communicate. the protocols of the past called for the aviation community was one of cooperation to try to prolong the situation, get them to land, exchange passengers, listen to the demands. we knew from experience that the long grip on hijacking went on, the more likely it would be that it would and benignly -- end benignly. now, all the protocols of changed for dealing with hijackings. >> i want to acknowledge each of
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you for the heroism that you exhibited. [applause] your ability to find the focus to concentrate and execute your jobs with the level of perfection that nobody ever would have called on you to perform and your ability to show the ingenuity to step outside the box and your ultimate commitment to the safety of lives and america is just remarkable. we owe each of you an extreme debt of gratitude. thank you very much. [applause] >> there must have been a moment for each of you at some point where you felt like you could say that the crisis is over, the immediate problem has been
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addressed and we may have a second to take a breath. i wonder what that moment was like for each of you. what was your next thought? >> to be honest with you, i was not comfortable until the next day. the pentagon was hit at 9:37 a.m.. the next thing i knew, it was 9:00 at night. the washington area was under control. the fighter cap and resources above the capital were under control. there was a handful of aircraft we did not know the status of. the ones coming in overseas was a whole different apartment. i got home. i was comfortable that night. i would sleep well because we were
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safe. for me, it was not until the next day when everything was over. -- i knew i would sleep well because we were safe. for me, it was not until the next day when everything was over. >> for me, it has never ended. i do not look and aircraft the same way. i have been seeing aircraft my whole life. i am seldom if ever turning my head to watch an airplane go by. that has changed. i watch them on them. i think it changed america's perception of aviation and what goes on in the skies. on that day when we directed them all to land, that was some kind of closure but it really was not. a recall of japan airlines flight up in alaska that nearly got shut down -- shot down
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because of a radio problem. we were not sure it was over when the last aircraft landed. to this day, it has changed my perception of aviation and how i think about what is going on. i do feel it is up to everyone of us to prevent this type of terrorism from happening again. i think we have seen that demonstrated by stories in the press of passengers on airplanes overwhelming a potential hijackers or someone who wanted to disrupt the flight and taking matters into their own hands. there are airport procedures to prevent people from getting on the airplanes with anything more dangerous -- you cannot bring a bottle of water on board. they have changed considerably from the protocols before 9/11. it is up to all of us to keep our eyes and ears open. as they say in new york, "if you
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see something, say something." >> i started feeling more comfortable when all of the airplanes were down over boston. some of the east centers got their aircraft down sooner than the west coast. i started feeling better than. then we had a lot of military coming off the ground. i felt better. i was still listening in on the telecons to other parts of the country landing airplanes. there was a conversation going on. the base commander said that if you land here, you will get shot down. the guy had to go somewhere else. that was the way it was. the day went on for a long time. i got home about 8:00. that was the first time i saw anything on tv. and i went back in at midnight and work another 12 for 14 hours the next day.
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the next day i felt a lot better. we watched the fighters got an intercept. there was a lot more to be done. there was a lot of coordination on helicopters and relief try to get to the tower. at that time, people were still hoping they would pull hundreds of people out of the towers. over the next few days, we realized they were not going to find hardly any survivors at all. the whole system has changed. it is not the same as it used to be. it never will be. we have a lot more protocols and things in place to take care of what would happen today. >> i want to express my appreciation personally to all of you for doing your duty and doing it well. mr. sliney, especially, for your timely and completely independent order to shut down in u.s. airspace.
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did you have any resistance to that -- other than from the texas rangers? did you get any flak for that later since it was apparently an independent decision? >> the answer is no, i got no flak for that. i am reminded of the individual from the communications headquarters. he called me over and said i would love this. he said they want us to land everyone. i looked at him. he said i told them we have already done that. he asked who did that. he demanded pete -- he said they demanded to know who gave me a 40 to do that. he said they called back 20 minutes later and demanded to know why i had not done it sooner. [laughter] being an old hand at government service, i was not even
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surprised that the turn of events -- at the turn of events. [laughter] >> i want to know how it changed the training for aviation altogether in case of another emergency. like how prepared is the aviation team now compared to the attacks before september 11? is there more training with the psychological state of each personnel? did that not even occur? you are able to separate yourself for the time to take care of the situation at hand before you dealt with the psychological issues? >> i think i got your question, but please clarify. the training for air traffic controllers and management has
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changed completely in terms of how we deal with potential hijackings. it used to be an annual refresher that we would blow off. it is now a serious thing that we look at. how it is handled is completely different. >> how each individual psychological can break or completely take over -- the fight or flight syndrome. is there any more training with the psychological? >> not really. air traffic controllers are kind of a unique personality. [laughter] i have been a controller for 20 years. we are all the same. we really are. not really. there are a lot of type a personalities. as far as dealing with the emotional aspect --
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>> we try to get the crazy ones. [laughter] >> there are some differences. you have some controllers that are very anal, but still very aggressive. they're mostly aggressive type people. i worked in an office -- i work in an office. i have probably 12 stacks of paper around me. i can barely see my computer monitor. the controller next to me is completely spotless and gets upset if a piece of paper falls on his desk. different types of people. the reality is we all like to be in control. that is probably the biggest thing. i think everyone is more aware now than they used to be. they're more responsive if something were to go wrong. any emergency now is treated much differently than it used to be. it does not matter what the emergency is. it goes over the domestic defense network. everyone in the country knows you have a problem at boston
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center, even out in l.a., because everyone is listening in. there is no additional training that i am aware of. the personalities have not changed. there the same that they have always been. >> when you look nationwide at the feat accomplished when nearly five dozen aircraft landed without incident. the controllers were in new york, boston, washington when this was occurring. the pilots in command of these 4500 aircraft. i think the performance on that day demonstrates that their training was sufficient. i think the emotional load and the psychological consequences for some of the pilots and controllers, there were some that never returned to work after 9/11. there is no doubt that it took its toll on the psyche.
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i think we are done for now. questions? join me in thanking this group of panelists. [applause] >> we are going to take about a 15-minute break. we will return to hear from the pilots that were in the air that day. wait, i forgot to tell you. for those of you interested in reading more, the u t dallas bookstore will be selling the books right outside here. there will be a book signing afterwards.
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it is kind of like a pop-up book. you have all of the characters here. [laughter] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> on this ninth anniversary of the september 11 attacks, we are at the university of texas at dallas as officials recount their experiences on that day in 2001. we will hear from a pilot that almost collided with one of the united flights that hit the world trade center, as well as military pilots that went on alert after the attacks. there are remember its services for victims of the attack in new york, pa., and washington, d.c. tonight, we will show you the ceremony at the pentagon with the president. that begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. that will be followed by a rehearing of this form with aviation officials and pilots talking about their experiences on september 11, 2001.
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while we wait for the forum to resume, the weekly address of president obama marks the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks by paying tribute to the families of the victims and the sacrifices made by the military abroad. senator kyl discusses the ongoing military response to the attacks. >> the environmentalist, the journalist visited louisiana.
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>> today, we pause to remember a day that tested our country. on september 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the deadliest attack on american soil in our history.
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we will never forget the images of planes vanishing into buildings and of photos hung by the families of the missing. we will never forget the anger and sadness we felt. and while nine years have come and gone since that september morning, the passage of time will never diminish the pain and loss forever seared in the consciousness of our nation. that is why, on this day, we pray with the families of those who died. we mourn with husbands and wives, children and parents, friends and loved ones. we think about the milestones that have passed over the course of nine years - births and christenings, weddings and graduations all with an empty chair. on this day, we also honor those who died so that others might live -- the firefighters and first responders who climbed the stairs of two burning towers, the passengers who stormed a cockpit, and the men and women who have, in the years
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since, borne the uniform of this country and given their lives so that our children could grow up in a safer world. in acts of courage and decency, they defended a simple precept -- i am my brother's keeper. i am my sister's keeper. and on this day, we recall that at our darkest moment, we summoned a sense of unity and common purpose. we responded to the worst kind of depravity with the best of our humanity. so, each year at this time, we renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act of terror and who continue to plot against us - for we will never waver in defense of this nation. we renew our commitment to our troops and all who serve to protect this country, and to their families. but we also renew the true spirit of that day. not the human capacity for evil, but the human capacity for good. not the desire to destroy, but
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the impulse to save. that is why we mark september 11 as a national day of service and remembrance. for if there is a lesson to be drawn on this anniversary, it is this. we are one nation - one people - bound not only by grief, but by a set of common ideals. and that by giving back to our communities, by serving people in need, we reaffirm our ideals - in defiance of those who would do us grave harm. we prove that the sense of responsibility that we felt for one another was not a fleeting passion - but a lasting virtue. this is a time of difficulty for our country. and it is often in such moments that some try to stoke bitterness - to divide us based on our differences, to blind us to what we have in common. but on this day, we are reminded that at our best, we do not give in to this temptation. we stand with one another.
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we fight alongside one another. we do not allow ourselves to be defined by fear, but by the hopes we have for our families, for our nation, and for a brighter future. so let us grieve for those we've lost, honor those who have sacrificed, and do our best to live up to the values we share - on this day, and every day that follows. thank you. >> good morning. i am the senator from arizona. on this date nine years ago, it is lummox -- islamic terrorists hijacked planes and killed almost 3000 innocent people. americans finally realized that these attacks that occurred earlier not isolated events. they were all part of a war that had been declared by leaders of militant islamist groups and had to be confronted as such.
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in the unity that immediately followed september 11, a number of actions were taken. congress and the nation resolved that afghanistan could no longer serve as a sanctuary for al qaeda. congress authorized the use of force and also passed the patriot act, allowing our intelligence and law-enforcement communities to work together. the president directed our intelligence agencies to better use modern technology to gather information. the u.s. military drove the taliban and al qaeda from afghanistan. after defeating saddam hussein, the surgeon forces helped to turn the tide of -- against al qaeda in iraq. key leaders for captured and provided information useful in porting additional attacks. these and other actions have made us safer. ironically, the very fact that we have less fear of being attacked has frayed the bonds of unity that allowed us to act so boldly after the attack.
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the fact that none of the other attempts have succeeded seems to have removed some of the urgency and commitment still necessary to succeed in war. some in our government had refused to speak the name of our adversary, lest they somehow offend. yet one of the first rules of war is to know your enemy. it is better to confront him on your terms than his. the enemy is the militant islamist ideology that candidly and boldly and uncompromisingly six historic liberal western governments and replaced them with the medieval concept governed by sharia law. communism before it, yet it is totalitarian. it requires. force and subtle manipulation. a billion to appreciate what the enemy wants and how it intends to win -- making the mistake of
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not appreciating what the enemy was and how it intends to win would be dangerous. the muslim faith is practiced by over 1 billion people around the world. some focus on islam instead of the real adversary. it diverts and insults those muslims. terrorism is just one tactic of the militants. the insidious effort to gain political influence, not just in the middle east, but in europe and the u.s. as well can affect our capacity to respond. some western countries have tolerated the imposition of aspects of sharia law in their muslim communities, thus denying some citizens the protection of laws and constitutional rights. on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, we should think hard about the enemy that attacked us and will do so again if we relax our efforts. we need to remember that direct
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terrorist attacks are but one of the tactics of this determined enemy. today, we should remember the victims of 9/11 and their families. ose inuld also recall the f the military and those who've lost loved ones. those serving in the military deserve our deepest gratitude. tomorrow and beyond, we should recapture the unity allowed us to come together as a nation to confront a determined enemy. that is neither a republican or democratic challenge. that is an american challenge. >> we're waiting for the resumption of the forum at the university of texas at dallas with aviation officials talking about their experiences on september 11, 2001. coming up, pilots offer their perspective. before that, a look at what is being done at ground zero nine years after the attacks. this is from today's "washington
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journal." several photographs at ground zero and the host: papers this morningave several photographs at ground zero and the current construction work going on. this is the presentation of the "new york post". other papers as well giving pictures to tell us a little bit about the update of construction going on there from the "new york times". david done lap is joining us from new rk. if someone were to go to ground ground, what wod they see as far as construction? guest: wo towers. the number one trade center that's destined to arise to the original tower. it's already up to one third of that height and four world trade center about six stories. what they wouldn't see from the sidewalk but is very important to know has been constructed are
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300,000 square feet of space under ground including much of the shell of the memorial museum and the two enormous pools that are cited where the original towers stood and will serve as memorial. host: as far as time, why is it taken so longo get to this point as far as construction is concerned? guest: i'm not one of those that thinks it's taken that long. i reject that idea because i think projects of this magnitude sometimes take typically decades. the time square project has been going on now for 30-years. the thing here is that the politicians and we, ourselves, had expectations and the need to both memorialize our terrible loss and to show the world as quickly as possible that we were resilient and capable of rebuilding. in fact on an ordinary new york mega project timetable and
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ground zero is presented at good clip. there's been a lot of need less fighting, but there always is. host: as far as towers, how are they different now than they were then? guest: you can actually see around the base of one trade world cente it's be an extraordinarily fortified building. the core of one world trade center is concrete including walls up to five feet thick and the stairways and elevators. all mechanical systems are enclosed within the concrete walls rather than the particle board that separateed the core from the outer spaces of the overall old trade center. host: a side from towers there's memorial. how's construction doing on that and when it is expected to be completed? guest: it's said that the goal was to get the e memorial open
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by september 11, 2011 on the tenth anniversary and what greets my eyes is evidence that will happen. the memorial pools are almost completely clad in dark granite. the pump are installed. 16 or so trees have been planted and i think it'll make the goal. host: as far as working pace of getting this done, what are you seeing day after day as far as manpower and the hours put in the project? guest: there's some two thousand workers on the site every day. they work typically two shifts on a day and there is also some work that goes on over night and on weekends. the pace is ramping up continually. and i must say in the course of the six or eight site visits i did to report out this story, that the site literally changed
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eachch time i went there. >> we are waiting for the resumption of a forest at the university of texas at dallas with aviation officials talking about their experiences on september 11, 2001. pilots will offer their perspective, including a pilot that almost collided with one of the united flights that at the world trade center. it is a day of mourning in new york city for the nearly september 3000, 1911 victims with moments of silence and tears near ground zero. a protest is planned over the mosque a few blocks away. in afghanistan president marked the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks by insisting that the origins of the taliban
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insurgency cannot in afghanistan. he did make it clear he was referring to the insurgent sanctuaries in pakistan when he said that the war should "focus on resources and origins of terrorism.
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>> welcome back. please take your seats filled -- so that we can stand time. check yourself phones to make sure they are off. we use the brakes to talk on them, it seems. -- we seem to use these breaks to talk on them. we are now going to welcome the pilots. [applause] >> i know that you really want to talk to them and not hear from me. i will not be too wordy in might lead into the panel. i do want to cover two areas that i think need to be backdropped as we hear from the pilots. the first has to do with the professional pilots and how we're trained, what we expect,
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and what we do not expect. pilots have to have check rides every six months to a year to show that we can fly to the same abilities we could when we were first certificated. there are not many professions out there with that, but the proficiency is very high because of that. when pilots take these rides -- none of this has to do with flying the plane, but with everything that goes along with flying not playing. it has to do its -- flying that plane. it has to do with how you deal with enemies and how you deal with emergencies. we trained to such an extent that emergencies are another set of procedures to follow.
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there is so little that is unpredictable for a pilot because all of our training centers on being prepared for everything conceivable. that is important to keep in mind. one of the things that -- we did not spend a whole lot of time training prior to 9/11 on hijacking. it was part of the training, but in the 500-page manuals that address our training, may be only a couple of pages had to do with hijacking and they were not suicide hijackings, but the more traditional kind that the controllers were referencing earlier. keep that in mind as you hear from these pilots. none of that training prepared them to be in a situation where they found themselves on 9/11 where their aircraft were at risk for being hijacked and used as misfiles -- missiles against
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our own nation. the second backdrop i would like to paint is that of our military air defense on september 11, 2001. it was a different air defense than had been present 30 years earlier. at the height of the cold war, we had 175 jets armed and prepared to launch at a moment's notice. on september 11, we had 10 armed fighters for all of the continental united states, and only four of those were in the northeast portion of the united states. by northeast, i am not talking about new england, i am talking about east of the mississippi and above the mason-dixon line. there were four fighters on alert and prepared to defend.
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although there might be military facilities throughout our country, maybe in a town near you, they may have fighter squadrons. those fighter squadrons, unless they are one of those alert facilities -- they trained to deployed overseas. they were not part of the air defense mission and were not charged with the air defense of the united states. i just want to set those two things as the backdrop as we hear from these people. i would like it introduced colonel dan caine, who was an f- 16 fighter pilot and the supervisor of flying at the 121st fighter squadron at andrews air force base on 9/11. capt. gerald earwood, an airline
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pilot flying midwest express flight 7 into new york city on 9/11. colonel joe mcgrady, an f-15 fighter pilot, one of the air defense pilots that i referred to two, one of the alert pilots -- referred to, one of the alert pilots on cape cod. and captain chuck savall, another airline captain of the midwest express flight that was airborne on 9/11 and did not arrive at its intended destination. without further delay, i would like to give you all of the opportunity to make opening comments. >> thanks, lynn. first, let me say it is a tremendous honor to be here with the colleagues in the first panel. let me thank you for your
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leadership in your service on a bad, bad day. you made my life and joe's life a lot easier with being proactive and not reactive. thank you. it is an honor to be here with the school. thank you to the staff for putting this together. i do not think anyone else could have done a better job of putting this timeline together. it is worth reading. to my teammates to my left, it is an honor. joe and i have known each other for a long time. long before 9/11. i am the godfather of his oldest kid. if i would have known where he was, i would have been a lot more relaxed. lynn asked us to give an overview of what our roles were on 9/11. i'm a lieutenant-colonel in the d.c. air national guard and an at-16 fighter pilot there.
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on 9/11, my job was to be the lucky guy who got to go the fighter weapons school. the air force fighter weapons school is a lot longer, a lot harder, and we do not have volleyball like "top gun." [laughter] what that means is i am the squadron's chief tactician in chief instructor. i fly with the new guys, the old guys. i am the chief tactical adviser to the command structure. on september 11, i was not scheduled to fly initially. i was the supervisor of flying that morning, means i was to check the weather and make sure the guys launched ok and that we operated a safe and effective flying program. we were not an alert program. we were not one of the four
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programs that had airplanes sitting on alert. we had just reform from an air force base in nevada as we prepared to deploy it operation southern watch, the southern no- fly zone that we protect. we are now an air defense unit. you can rest assured that, as we sit here, my teammates are sitting just minutes away from airplanes who were there 24/7, 365. our unit, in particular, has been nonstop on alert since 911 -- 9/11. in the snow, the rain, on christmas -- trying to keep everybody safe and prevent that again. i was not scheduled to fly that morning. ultimately, any of you that read lynn's book will find out that the air defense structure did not reach down into the washington, d.c., traffic area. we got scrambled in a very
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nontraditional way. we had a very close relationship with the secret service, due to the location of where we fly at andrews. our scramble order came from the highest levels of government to get everything we could airborne. i shifted gears and stop being the supervisor flying and grab the nearest women that i could. we briefed and we went out and flew -- nearest wingman that i could. we briefed and then we went out and flew. in a couple of weeks, i deployed. that was a good thing. i went to afghanistan. i thank you for the opportunity. i look forward to hearing what these great americans to my left have to say. thank you. >> name is gerald earwood. on the morning of september 11,
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2001, i was flying milwaukee to new york laguardia. hijacked united 175 came through my back door. i was ordered to take evasive action for the aircraft. i witnessed the disaster straight-on. folks, you had to be there. i looked at it for my cockpit window. i saw both towers on fire. i never saw flight 175, but i did see the aftermath. america needs to remember what we saw that morning. these gentlemen here, the controllers did what they could. it was mass confusion. we landed probably 20 minutes
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after the second tower was hit. two days later, i was captain of the first aircraft to leave new york. that is my story. i share nothing with these to do fine military pilots who were protecting us these days -- those days. there is no way to explain how grateful we were to see them flying over the top of us. that is all i have right now. >> good afternoon. i am lieutenant colonel joe mcgrady, currently part of the 102nd wing. we were and f-15 squadron team -- an f-15 squadron team before
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some reassignments. thank you to everyone at the university of texas, dallas. your hospitality has been amazing. thank you to the other panelists for everything you did that morning. my role was in the cockpit of an f-15. i was scheduled to fly a training mission that morning. it was a beautiful, beautiful day. we were taxiing out. he firstre taxiing, te twa aircraft that went down to new york -- two aircraft that went down to new york on it immediate alert status were scrambled. as soon as they started up, we got word on the radio that there was a possible hijack of an american airlines 737. that was the first time we knew
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something was going on. we never dreamed it would be what unfolded. i was number one for take off with my wingman. we were going to do a training mission south of cape cod. our alert jets -- the first two that are down to new york -- that went down to new york took off, then we took off. there's a lot of chatter about what was going on -- about an american jet flying into the world trade center. as an american airlines pilot and a 30 -- and a 737 pilot, it was kind of odd for me. immediately after we got into the area, we were called back to
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base. we landed as soon as we could and reported to setup our cockpits for alert. we looked all the switches so that we would be ready to ready to-- flipped all the switches so that we would be ready to take off anytime. i ran into the squadron, there were six of us there for training that morning. we all landed and ran inside to breakroom.v in our we saw the towers. we knew we had two jets down in new york. at that piont, our squadron -- that point, our squadron commander brought us together and told us that two aircraft were hijacked and that is what
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was believed to have happened at the world trade center, and that there were more. we were getting word that there could be more. we're told that, if need be, we would have to engage and take art and airliner. that was -- and take out an air liner, which was a horrific thought. after that, a scramble order was issued. the technicians said we needed to get everything airborne as soon as we can. we ran out the door. i ran to our jets. i started up. we knew there were threats out there that we need to engage. i was one of the first two to taxi. we realized we did not have any weapons. it is filled up our jets with gas. -- they just filled up our
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jets with gas. we're told we had to go. even though we were a winchester, which means we had no weapons, we took off. we got airborne and we proceeded for about 106 miles, not really sure what it was. we were thinking we would have to engage the aircraft without any weapons. it did not happen to be a threat. it ended up being four a-10's that colin talked about earlier. we were ordered over downtown boston and we spent the next six hours setting up the north cap over boston. that is a good chunk of my day.
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i would be more than happy to expand on it and answer any questions about that day. >> my name is chuck savall. i would like to thank these two fighter pilots for what they did that day and what they would have been willing to do if they had had to. if you did not get that, joe was going to take off without weapons and half to take down an airplane. the odds of him dying while doing that were extremely high. my personal role -- i was the captain of the midwest express flight from the walkie to new work, -- from milwaukee to newark. we were only 10 miles apart. we were right behind them. we descended into newark on a normal and beautiful morning. we got into a holding pattern,
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which you normally get in bad weather. sometimes if there is a lot of traffic, you get those on a nice day. we asked the controller why we were getting the holding pattern in he would not tell us, which is very unusual -- and he would not tell us, which is very unusual. that was my first clue something was very wrong. we were setting up a holding pattern. while we were holding, we heard another airline pilot on the radio say, we just heard something about a plane hitting the road trade center appeared we were 25 miles away. i looked -- hitting the world trade center. we were 25 miles away. i looked out the window. the second tower had just been hit. we saw the flames and smoke. we did not know it was an airplane. we thought it was an explosion. from what we heard, it was an airplane that the world trade center. we did not know the extent of what was going on.
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we asked the controller again, why are we in a holding pattern? he said, something big is going on in new york and i cannot tell you about it. it was getting a little unusual. at that point, pilots -- we had to figure out our plan b -- how much fuel we have and where we could go. our initial thought was going to look guardia -- la guardia. our dispatchers were watching this on cnn. they told us to get as far from the east coast as we possibly could. so that is what we did. we headed for cleveland. [laughter] not sure why that is funny come we headed for cleveland. that is all the fuel we had so that is where we could land
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safely. we were discussing what to do as far as security. we were still unsure as to what was going on. my first officer tuned up the local a.m. radio station and that was the best communication information we had that morning. we heard about the pentagon. we have a lot of incorrect information -- heard a lot of incorrect information. we knew how bad things were. i made an announcement to the passengers to let them know that we would try to get them on the ground safe. on the way to cleveland, we were heading right for flight 93. our courses were pretty much head-on. they made us emergency descent and landing in pittsburgh. by the time we got there, the airport had been evacuated.
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we had someone in the tower who had not left his post. i still do not know who he was pretty said, you can land if you want to, but you are on your own -- i still do not -- i still do not know who he was. he said, you can land if you want to, but you are on your own. after that, it was pretty uneventful. [laughter] >> thank you. there is criticism after the attack that the military was slow to respond. why did they not shoot down american 11 and united 175? how do you respond to that? >> carefully. [laughter] i think the reality is, in the pre-9/11 environment we were mostly focused on threats out
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word -- outward. we did not candidly anticipate this kind of attack could be mounted against america. we did not look inward. the airplanes that were set up at the time work drive toward the water and stop any threat access from their -- were set up at the time were to drive toward the water and stop any threat access from there. there have been improvements since then, which is a good thing. as i said, we have airlines -- air planes sitting on the work now in washington, d.c., and we did not have that on 9/11. i do not think there'll be
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another situation like that. >> additionally, if you remember, ben earlier said from the first to the last one, it was approximately 70 minutes. we had to kook armed aircraft that launched -- two armed aircraft that launched out of the northeast. the timing and the time frame logistically of that happening -- timeframe logistically of that happening were kind of an issue. >> it was those fighters who had responded to the lufthansa hijacking. they had gone out and followed it and sat overhead jfk when it landed. some of the same alert pilots that had scrambled to new york had worked at hijack. -- worked
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that hijack. would there have been any reason for them to have suddenly shot down that aircraft? they could get shot down not lufthansa -- that lufthansa, too. >> the events of 9/11 were unbelievable. i do not think it was ever thought of where the military air defense fighter would engage and shoot down a civilian airliner filled with people. the rules changed that day. >> but you had been trained to deal with hijackings. >> you have to think in context.
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as we were watching the first hour burn and the airplane -- the second one came into view -- there was complete silence. there was absolutely no doubt in anybody's mind in that fire squadron -- fighter squadron that we were under attack. all of your planning assumptions get jettisons at that point and you start handling the nearest threat. i mean, it would not have been easy to shoot an airliner, but let me rest -- put to bed any concerns that we were all willing to do that. whether or not you would follow an airplane -- we had some very good conversations with airplanes that day, with one airplane about four-feet off of their wing, tried to determine whether or not this guy was guyor not.
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-- whether or not this guy was friendly or not. we were trying to prevent confusion. >> it sounds like you all were not -- this is not very different from some of the common sense lines. he did not make the connection of the hijack and what he saw in the tower at first. it sounds like you all did not make the immediate connection that these were suicide hijackings until sometime between after 11:00 -- after 11 and 175 struck. >> the first airplane going into the tower hit before our first two armed jets got to the new york area. i do not know it was pieced
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together during that time. there was a lot of confusion. it was not long after when it was figured out that it was an attack. in my case, instantly taking off right after the alert jets, then getting recalled right away, landing, running inside. in that short amount of time, i was told that i might have to go -- the game changed instantly, right there. something that we would never think of doing before, we were suddenly being told that we needed to be prepared to do this. that was in a very short i timeframe and -- in a very short timeframe and then we were running out the door. the initial responders -- i remember when they got scrambled on the hijack. we thought that was neat and exciting.
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they got to do something for real. you do not often get a tasking when you were on alert for real- world tasking. you can sit alert for two years and might not get scrambled on a real-world tasking. >> before 9/11. >> correct. [laughter] when those initial responders took the wrong way to go, i was thinking, -- took the runway to go, i was thinking, all right, go do it. not shoot down an airliner, because that was the farthest thing from my mind. it was just exciting to be scrambled. an hour later, then being told we might need to engage an airliner. what we said, that's
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had to do. in our squadron, that was the thing we had to do, protect our nation. we kind of knew what was going on. when we get ordered to do something, we authenticate, then we do it. if we had, god forbid, taken out an airliner, then that is what it was going to be. >> they thought you were heading toward a target when you headed out. if you had had to take out that target, as you were thinking while flying out there, what was your plan? >> it was -- that was -- that short window in my life was incredibly difficult.
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basically, i thought about, if i had to do that, taking out the tail or maybe the cockpit and then trying to be able to hit the airplane in a way that i could eject and save myself. it was just a terrible, terrible feeling trying to figure it out and wondering whether i would survive or should just take it out completely, go for the engine or the wing. you know, it was not -- and thankfully, that did not happen. but that -- like i said, in that short amount of time, that is what we thought might have to happen. we were -- if we were ordered to do that, that is what we would have to do.
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>> gerald, your circumstances are very different, in that you almost had a midair with 175. you did not have the awareness that some of these other panelists had about what was happening. you just knew that you had a very excited comptroller trying to prevent a mid-air -- controller trying to prevent a midair. you spoke in your opening comments that you were the first to take off from new york when it was allowed. i know some pilots who never went back to flying and they did not have midairs. what was that like? >> to be honest, leaving new york -- i was more afraid leaving new york than the actual event of the near midair.
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i was very concerned about terrorist around the perimeter of the airport. we had 35 script -- 35 stranded and crewmembers -- 35 stranded crew members in new york. new york was a ghost town. there were armed guards with m- 16 and machine guns. they opened up the airport especially for us. we had to go through extensive security -- you think it is bad now. [laughter] they wanted to -- well -- we went through two extensive screenings. [laughter] >> it's ok. [laughter] >> like i said, that was the worst part. i was escorted down to the
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aircraft. as captain, i was the only one allowed to the aircraft, escorted by local and federal law enforcement. i had to perform an inspection around the aircraft, a bomb inspection with the local law enforcement and the fbi observing everything i did. i would open up a panel, read the checklist, look into the hole, step back, and that three more people do the exact same thing -- let three more people do the exact same thing. it probably took about 30 minutes to do something that usually takes five or 10 minutes. we loaded everyone up. ground crew looked up to the aircraft. we started to push back. the ground controller called and said, we hate to tell you this, but there has been a bomb threat against your aircraft. you need to evacuate. so, i picked up the p.a. and
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turned to the 35 crew members who wanted to get home and said, you aren't going to believe this, but we have a bomb threat and we have to evacuate. everyone, evacuated the aircraft and walked out onto the -- everyone calmly evacuated aircraft and walked out on to the runway. at that moment, one of our military aircraft flew over, and i got our attention. [laughter] -- that got our attention. when we got back on the aircraft and we were taxiing out, our friends from the military made another pass just as we were taxiing out. i told my first officer, i hope the military knows we are coming. [laughter] he said, me, too.
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they made a low pass. i remember the missiles struck on the bottom of the wings as you guys came over the top of us. i called and asked to the tower, confirm with us that the military knows that we're about to be airborne here. he said, hang on a minute. [laughter] he came back and said, yeah, they know you are coming. he said, make some noise getting out of here. what he did not know -- i had discussed this with my bosses and my first officer that, on a jet engine, on a dc-9, you go to a certain set temperature when you are preparing to take off. we all always did what was called a reduced-power takeoff.
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i said, not today. if they say anything, we are firewalling our engines. i advised air crew that it would be a roller coaster ride. we pitched off straight ahead. usually, of of that particular run way -- off of that particular runway, they turn you northwest. that day, they send us right over the world trade center. i had never been there. it was moving. -- it was very moving. the air traffic controllers were grateful that we were out. they had been talking to nothing but military for 48 hours.
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we chatted all the way to milwaukee. as far as giving up flying, it was never crossed my mind. it has been what i've done since i was 17 years old and was not going to let these people scare me out of my life. [applause] >> chuck. do you -- you talked a little bit about the fact that you really did not know what the threat was to your aircraft. i have often said that an airline pilot has a protective since -- sense over his or he r aircraft and passengers, not unlike a parent to their children. on that day, you had a lot of
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information, even though it did not feel like much. you knew there was a threat, probably the terrorist threat. what actions did you take knowing that? what was going through your mind? >> we are taught from our original hijacking training that, the quicker you get on the ground, the better. the safest places on the ground. that was what our mission became. we also had the new york controllers telling us to get out of here. we wanted the land as quickly as we could, but they would not let us. it was a conflict of interest, how quickly can we get out of the ground and get out of the way. we knew that the faster we got out of the sky, the quicker we would be saved. there was then the concern about landing at a major airport that
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we would be overtaken by terrorists. my first officer and i actually discussed lending at cleveland's -- landing at cleveland's general aviation airport, which is not a commercial airport. we thought we would get on the ground, park the airplane, and hoped there would be no terrorists. we did not have the choice. when we were told to land at pittsburgh, it was not a choice, but in order. -- an order. we talked earlier about this being part of the air defense missions at andrews and the 121st was not and about the fact that, on that day, we had only 10 aircraft that were armed
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and on alert for the entire continental united states, i think it was 14 for the entire united states. yet, within a matter of hours, very quickly that morning, we had combat air patrol over every major american city, including over washington, d.c., one of the first up, even though you were not part of the air defense mission. can you speak about how that happened? >> how we put it together? >> we only had 10 air defense aircraft, but then how did we have all of these other aircraft up over every major city? >> team america. [laughter] the nation needed america to respond. to every fighter squadron in the country, there were clear and unambiguous needs. we would sort out the control
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structure later on, thanks to folks like dan creedon over there from tracon. it was clear what needed to be done. sorting out the command-and- control structure became a challenge in some places like washington. the ground control intercept folks -- a fighter radar can only see a certain distance, 60 to 80 miles. as the cap commander, i wanted to see much further than that. poor dan creedon gets paired up with dan caine who is asking for very specific information as fast as he can get. to his credit, he acted quickly. it they did in amazing and extraordinary things on nine --
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the ground controllers did amazing and extraordinary things on 9/11. the responded with honor and professionalism beyond anything i can communicate -- they responded with honor and professionalism beyond anything i can communicate to you. they gave us situational awareness. on a day like 9/11, whether you are a fighter pilot or an air traffic controller -- the thing you want is situational awareness. you want to make the best decisions you can with the information you have. thanks to the response of these folks, we were able to get as much situational awareness as we could. it is not like that anymore. the country is set up much better in architecture and in training. i can take off out of andrews. i can get scrambled from my
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shelter and talk to new york now. we are much better prepared. it is a long distance from 500 feet over d.c. >> i wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, but i want to answer in a different way. you are asking about the amount of caps that got up so quickly. it is definitely a tribute to everyone on the ground -- everything that makes a fighter what it is. it was the most amazing thing. when i landed six hours later,
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we were at war. -- in a a cubunch of guard unit, it is a handful of folks. on the weekend, it quadruples in size of manpower. the folks on the ground, all of the fighter squadrons, it is a true testament to their abilities, their work, their dedication. we had, i think it was 14 or 16 jets fully loaded in a wartime configuration within hours of the first attack, by the end of that afternoon or early evening. i stayed on. we would start them up, make
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sure they worked, then sign them off. we went into 24/7 combat air patrols -- c.a.p.'s. we had four fighters airborne 24 hours a day. >> for 40 days. >> even after that. it was a continuous operation that most of the national guard units took on. it is just a tribute to all the personnel in our wing from the youngest airmen, to the most senior, to the whole team. >> when you mobilize the guard in our country, thanks to the
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constitution, you are really mobilizing america. the citizen soldiers answered the call on that day and are still doing so today. it is 12:45 in afghanistan and men and women from the active component of the guard are getting on their body armor to go out in the darkness to prevent another 9/11. it is a proud honor for us to be part of the air national guard and the national guard, which is really all of us -- citizen soldiers that answered the call to serve. >> in doing research and talking to some of the wing commanders, when colin had called over to lead the city and asked them if they could get some fighters airborne -- to atlantic city and ask them if they could get some fighters airborne -- when he
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started to form his jets, one of -- arm his jets, one of his staff saigave him pushback. he said, just do it. he turned, they loaded the weapons. i said, on whose wuthority -- authority were they going to launch these weapons when they weren't part of the air defense mission? he explained that as an error in march -- air national guard unit you work for the state. the governor of the state and trust me with this duty to protect. under that of 40, i will lean forward and get my asset -- that authority, i will lean forward and get my assets up in the air.
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i will protect. a force multiplier effect of having that ability. it was fascinating. >> folks, the other thing to remember is you could not keep people from trying to get to the guard base. airline pilots who were stuck out were doing anything they could get back to base. maintenance folks -- anyone, everyone was just coming through. whether they were needed or not, they were on their way into the base to help out. it was just a tremendous feat. we're getting some attention right now, but it was really not just us. it was everything behind us supporting us. >> i have a question for you, dan. you mention the air traffic controllers are in the business
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of keeping aircraft apart. you needed them to do something different. you were doing some teaching on the spot that morning. in some of the earlier comments, joe mentioned he had a very specific way to respond to any authorization to engage. how were you working with not only air traffic control to get what you needed, but with some of the air defense fighters that had totally different rules of engagement? how did that work? >> thankfully, the weapons school teaches you to be a herder. it was organized chaos. when we launched, i still remember the generator coming on line and the radars -- coming
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online and the radios going crazy. all i heard was that anybody within 25 nautical miles of washington, d.c., will be show down. my first thought was, -- will be shot down. my first thought was, i am not going down there. [laughter] i took over the c.a.p. given the very clear and unambiguous rules of engagement that our particular unit had, we realized we needed help from the guys who could see longer distances than i could with my fighter radar. i eventually landed on washington tracon's frequency. initially, our problem was one of sorting. we had many contacts who were in
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and around the range from the national command authority that met certain triggers. we needed to sort through those. each one initially required me to fly my airplane into an intercept on them. my first intercept was about 25 or 30 seconds after takeoff. i said, that is going to be a bad day, the one right over d.c. we have some tactics. there is a common reference point which is a great tactic and allows us to move everyone's situational awareness to the same thing. we chose reagan national, something i knew was in the system. i said, let's use reagan and
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we'll call it bulls'-eye. we will go with distance and direction off of that. we came with ways to sort traffic. if they were responsive to what we were saying on the radio, we knew they were friendly folks. dan would move them out and not be my problem. if they were not talking to him or they were below a certain altitude, we either called them unknown or suspect. we would commit and asset -- an asset to visually i.d. and determine whether it was a helicopter, medevac, airliner -- somebody who just did not get the word. they just did a great job helping us out with that.
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our best friend that day was actually the self-protection flare. we normally carry these flares that detect heat seeking missiles. they are great attention getters. especially if you are a helicopter with an f-16 above you. they are very convincing. we relied upon proven tactics. we set those in place. the concept of being proactive, not reactive. eliminating the variables that we had to deal with. minimizing the tactical problem that we faced. when in doubt, make a decision. the worst thing we could have done was not make a decision. as commander, i was determined
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to make proactive, not reactive, decisions to shape the environment and set the conditions for success, whether that was commit airplanes earlier, chunk flares out, get on the guard frequency and start asking for a tanker -- which showed up miraculously. that is another great story about american patriotism on patriot day. >> thank you. you mentioned the shoot-down authority and authorization. norad did not issue a blanket shoot-down authority. commanders there may very well- thought out -- made the very decisionught out
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that they would look at things individually. your orders were different in d.c. can you tell us more about the orders you had? far, weut going too had very liberal orders. i had the decision -- the ability to make airborne decisions unilaterally. those came directly to us from pretty high in government. we knew that we had very strict criteria, but when that criteria was met, the onus was on us to make the right decision. in a quick side bar, our wing commander, who tragically passed away in the metro accident in washington, d.c., last summer.
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i handed him the phone to talk to the high levels of government to get the rules of engagement. as we running out to the airplanes, he walked through the rules of engagement in handed me the piece of paper to read. you want to hear something great from your boss. he said, dan, i trust you. you are going to make the right decision. that stands out as a great example of leadership under stress. here is a guy sending a punk kid out there and he said, i'll back you to the hilt. >> when you mentioned to the general, one of the very touching things when i interviewed him, he was talking about this phone call that he received from the presidential
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emergency operations center, from a secret service agent that was telling him to basically shoot down any aircraft that got within a certain distance of washington, d.c. given the military chain of command, those orders have to come directly from the president. he said he did not feel really great about taking a shootdown order of a civilian airliner from a secret service agent. he said, may i speak with the vice president? he said, no, the vice-president is on the phone with the president. he said, is there anybody else there that i can speak to? [laughter] they said, no. this is what you are being ordered to do. he said he felt like he was the doctor are riding on the scene
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of an accident. he knew his -- arriving on the scene of an accident. he knew his resources. how could he say no? he knew he was putting his career on the line by taking such an order out side of the military chain of command. i give him much credit. there were a lot of individuals who put their lives or careers on the line in making similar decisions like that to respond in the unusual circumstance. i just wanted to add that. it was very powerful to me to hear that. he said he was relieved later on when the officials fax came through. that was 1:00 or 2:00. >> me, too. >> i wanted to be able to open this panel to questions from the audience.
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you're going to follow the same format. i would ask you to come to the microphones. we will give students the opportunity to ask questions first. let's move into those questions. while we are waiting for anybody with questions to get to the microphone, i do want to ask you all, are we better prepared today? >> yes. >> let's go down the panel and get your thoughts. thank you, dan. >> yes, absolutely. it was a way of call, not only for the country, but for the world -- wake-up call, not only for the country, but for the world. >> the planes are armed. the communications
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infrastructure has improved. at the interagency ability to communicate between intelligence, law-enforcement, military components -- it is much tighter. we have a network which is a 24- hour, 365-day conference call that is always going. somebody cannot be off-setting by three degrees and they are not talking about it. the sleeping giant has been awakened, if you will, at least in that part of our transportation sector. i think we are much better prepared. >> i agree. >> i just had a quick question. why is it we do have a transponder that can be turned off in the cabin? why does that capability not
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just when the plane is turned on, it is turned on, when the plane is turned off, it is turned off? >> any of them being turned on and off could affect the safety of aircraft. just like any >> when we are taxiing, you don't want your transponder on because the transponder is connected with a system that basically gives you advisories' of your proximity to the other aircraft. you don't want to be taxing 30 or 40 feet from all these other aircraft. it would be very loud in the cockpit. [laughter] generally you don't even turn on your transponder.
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it cannot be safely on on the ground. you don't turn it on until just before you take off. obviously it was used against us on september 11, the fact that they could turn their transponder's off and make themselves partly in visible except for primary radar. >> i really had this question for the first panel, but in discussing the diversion of the aircraft within a 60 mile radius of washington, or it that included new york, in retrospect, do you think it would have been better to have gotten those airplanes on the ground at the final destination for those on file, in consideration that any aircraft that was being controlled by terrorists would not respond anyway, and it seems to me like the resulting chaos that occurred after this diversion of airplanes and lack of being able
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to assist them to get to a destination airport, and for example, where fuel became critical and had to land where it landed, in retrospect, was there any consideration to in the future allowing the aircraft to go ahead and land at their destination airport? >> no, to be honest with you, [unintelligible] at the time, we could not trust any group. we did not know. we did not know that at the time.
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not that we had time to think about that, but now that we do, the answer is yes. we were just doing the best we could on that particular day. >> being right there in new york, which both towers on fire, everyone was considered a threat. we were asked probably 15 or 20 times, are you still with us? are you still with us? they were not sure -- these guys will tell you here, they were not sure who was what, where was where, in our situation. i would say -- i would not say
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they forgot about us, but there were times that we felt like we were forgotten about, because they blew us east of the airport, probably 60 miles before they turned us back -- flew us east of the airport, and all the time asking, are you still with us? it was just total mass confusion all over. >> i wanted to thank the four of you for your actions that day and what you continue to do for us. i question is for the commercial pilot. i was wondering how you decided to tell the passengers what was going on. did you consider lying to them? [laughter] a small bump in the aircraft, you know. >> that would be a hard-line to cover up. the best policy was just to be honest with them. they are all in a life-and-death
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situation, and had every right to know that. the moment that i knew that everyone's life was somewhat in danger and at risk, i let them know. i tell them, as far as i know, we are at work. >> i did not say a word, because i did not know. we were over allentown, pennsylvania. we started down and 18,000 feet and saw the smoke coming off the first tower that had been hit. we thought it was an air conditioning unit that was on fire. a first officer and i were discussing that. look at the world trade center, i see smoke on the tower. but the chatter on the frequency had died down to nothing, to the point where they were not answering my calls when i was calling in, when i was working the radio. i started diagnosing the airplane is having a radio problem, because center an approach were missing all my calls to them. the only time i would hear from them is when they would call me.
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my passengers got a ride that morning because we were descending for four thousand feet. the smoke from the forel -- first world trade center tower was obscuring laguardia airport. i asked the controller on the approach, we cannot see the field. there was no answer. three times i called them, causing about 10 seconds in between, and there was nothing. there was no chatter, no talk, no anything. then he came back screaming at us, are you with me? i said roger, we are descending down to four thousand feet. he ordered a hard left turn and started screaming turn left, immediately, now, now, immediately. we started rolling into a 25-
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degree bank, which is our standard turn. then he is hollering us to tighten up the turn. tighten it up, keep it coming, tighten it up. i told eric, roll it into 45. he rolled it into 45. when you roll a big jet that the, the nose wants to drop. so he is training on the controls, and that is when i joined him on the controls. with the comptroller still screaming at us. then he rolled us back hard right. rollback hard right, keep it coming, and turn, turn, turn, now. i have never had a controller scream like that, be that excited. as we are coming out of the right turn, we heard on another frequency, we just saw an airplane hit the world trade center. and i looked up and saw the
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impact at that point. i forgot what we were talking about. [laughter] did i let my passengers know? no, i did not. in the middle of the right hand turn, we were rolling about 60 degrees of bank when the flight attendant called up to the cockpit. i instinctively picked up the headset and said what? she said what in god's name is going on up there? you drew me to the floor. >> i said i cannot talk now, and slammed the phone down. after we landed at laguardia, we read the next to the last aircraft to land at laguardia. they took us off the runway. we were facing the world trade center, watching it burn.
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eric and i are discussing the fact that we hope they are getting everyone out of there. a flight attendant comes up and says, someone on the phone back there said something about a cessna running into the world trade center. we started piecing things together. we did not know what size the airplane was, why the first one was on fire. we had nothing to tell people, because we did not know until we got to the gate about 30 minutes later, because longoria was on a ground stop and there was no room. it took forever to get to the gate, but once we got to the gate and people got off, they were actually thanking me for the flight. [laughter] they were happy to be on the .round frictio my wife had called and left me three messages asking me to call
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her, and i called her. as i am talking to her, she tells me that an airplane just at the pentagon. that is when i knew it's time to get everyone off. i came back and told the crew. they were getting ready to go to our next stop at kansas city. i told them we have to get off the airplane and at of the airport, that the nation is under attack. they just looked at me like "yeah, right." then we were ordered off the aircraft. laguardia airport was like a scene from a horror movie. the gathered us up. there was another fellow crew that joined us and they had us remove our insignia and said that we don't know if there are terrorist in the airport or not, so we don't want any flight crew being forced back on an airplane.
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>> were you finished? >> i did not mean to go on and on. >> the question as to what pilots told the passengers, i heard from several hundred pilots when i started to research this book, and the response was not consistent across the ranks. some pilots were worried that if they said anything, if there were hijackers on their aircraft, that they could be tipping them off that some successful hijacks were occurring. they did not want to say anything. some of them, because they did not know if they had hijackers on for their aircraft, those that had the cab and displays that show where you are aircraft is relative to your destination , they were turning those of as they were diverting, because they did not even on their
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passengers should to know they were diverting. -- they did not want their passengers to note. some of them were barricading themselves into the cockpit and making sure no one could break through the cockpit. there were telling their flight attendants under no circumstances to open the cockpit door. other captains and first officers who had several law enforcement officers on board their aircraft that day that happened to be flying for part of their work that day and were carrying weapons, they were trying to confirm if those people were really they said they were. they were trying to go through their airlines dispatched to find out, here is the information that you have to present to the captain, a document if you are carrying a firearm. so these captains were on the phone with dispatch saying we have this guy and this guy on our plane, are they really do
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they say they are? when they got the word back that they were, they were having these law enforcement officers come forward and protect their cockpits. they were moving into first class. one captain had to federal law enforcement officers on board his aircraft. he was a 747 coming in from europe. he had them come upstairs where the cockpit is on the 747 and he told them they could sit in the very front seat there. one of them said i am standing right by the door, capt. he actually had his firearm under his jacket in his hand, and he stood there for the remainder of the flight, protecting the cockpit. so they all really responded differently. some of them did tell their passengers that some of them made a very conscious decision not to tell their passengers anything. >> i think we have time for
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about two more questions. >> i am a pilot with american and i want to thank the pilots on the day is right now for doing an extremely professional job in extremely uncertain predicament. for those of us is that on the flight deck for most of our life, we have pride when we know as much as we can about a situation. when there is a complete lack of certainty with respect to where you are going forward, and angst, such a level of bank especially to the captain of the flight. i can identify in some way with what you went through, even though i was not there that day. on the divert fields, places like gander, and i annexed in bermuda got saturated also. were there quoted as to how many diverse could go to each place
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of hand? was there a strategy that was entertain to begin with b.g.e. entertainment to begin with? -- was there a strategy that was entertained to begin with? >> if there were, we were not aware of it. we knew that they were limited to have many aircraft that could take. their quota was how many they could put on a ramp, and that is how much they were taking. when they filled up a ramp, they had to leave a runway open, but someone mentioned he was trapped behind 38 aircraft. they fill them up at halifax and push them over the top, because the state of maine sticks out over the north. the route to them on to montreal as well. i think they filled all their quotas.
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>> my impression was that bermuda especially got saturated with airplanes. it looked like there were couple of planes that might have left the hard surface, just in navigating the tarmac, to make their way around to find a place to rest. >> ben mentioned mexico as well. i know on the west coast, coming in from alaska, the same thing there. a lot of airports got filled up with their planes. when they started at the time they did, most of the internationals were in the air. a lot of them could not turn around and go back, so they only had one place to go. [applause] >> i also wanted to thank the
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military fighter pilots for the extraordinary bravery that you and all the others like you showed on that day and the following days. i cannot imagine having to face what you did that day. my question was, you talk briefly about having a one-way conversations. did you not have communication with all the commercial pilots? you talked about lying next to them and looking at them. could you not talk to them? >> not until we got them on the frequency that we were on. we tried to reach them on the emergency frequency. in the end, i think we did talk to everybody. some of the helicopters we did not talk to. quite frankly, they got the message, and we did not need to talk to them. [laughter] that was just one less problem we had to deal with. the assumption is, nobody is on the same frequency, so we used
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the emergency frequency a lot. i still get a hard time from my fighter pilot buddies now from hell out -- for how much talking i did on the emergency frequency on 9/11. >> at that time we only had uhf radios, and most civilian are vhf. or vhs o >> will you join me in thanking this panel? [applause]
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the university of texas at dallas, the eugene mcdermott library, and the history of aviation collection would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to all the panelists for green to come and share their stories with us. and to all of you for coming here to hear their stories. we would also like to thank the many people who made this possible, because as you can imagine, putting on something like this with three months' notice took a lot of work and time and effort. let me thank lynn spencer, who is she had not agreed to come and speak, we will expect to see all of you next summer, we would have never thought of this great idea. to the mcdermott library special collection coordinator, his
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staff, the library's program coordinator and manager, and the communications department, the staff of the development office, and many others from across campus such as the ambassadors, the book store, police, facilities management, and media services. without all of them, none of this would have been possible. the frontiers of light museum, the collectors club of ellis, our thanks to c-span for agreeing to carry this message live to the nation. and finally, a special thanks again to all of you for agreeing to come on such short notice, to: scroggins or missing that football game. we really do appreciate you sharing your story.
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please allow our panelists to exit first. you can browse the exhibits from special collections and enjoy the reception. thank you very much for being here with us today, and we look forward to seeing all of you in special collections and the eugene mcdermott library here at the university of texas at dallas. thank you again. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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[crowd murmurs]
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>> tonight in prime time, c-span plans to rehire all the 9/11 events from today. we will start with president obama and defense secretary robert gates at the pentagon. then we will go to pennsylvania where first lady michelle obama and laura bush paid tribute to the 40 passengers killed in flight 93. after that, this event you have just seen from the university of texas at dallas with the pilots and air traffic controllers who work on september 11, nine years ago. you can see them tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m., here on c-span. >> he is considered the father of modern community organizing and his 1979 book is still used as a blueprint for bringing about social change. >> nicholas von hoffman spent
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tenures working for him, and rice about his experiences. that is sunday night on c-span q&a. the governors of colorado and new mexico speak at the aspen institute's american renewable energy day in aspen, colorado. they discuss ways that state and local governments can encourage renewable energy technologies, from tax incentives to government regulations. this runs about 55 minutes. >> it is my distinct pleasure and honor to bring of governor river from colorado and also governor richards and from the state of new mexico. also mr. papp mcconathy, who is
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going to monitor the conversation. that is going to introduce the governor's -- pat is going to introduce the governor's. that has worked for 35 years two further energy production in the united states. he focused on operating wells in texas, arkansas, and wyoming from the 1970's and 1990's. a few years ago, he had all of his entities divest themselves of their oil and gas properties to focus on developing alternative sources of and natural gas on its mineral holdings. his foundation produced and help fund a documentary movie, which will be screened tonight after a chat with thomas friedman. don't miss that, because it is a
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very important movie. the film premiered at sundance and was shown in copenhagen last december. pat has worked in the leadership circle of u.s. senator ken salazar, now secretary of the interior. he is the founder of wild goose ministries in colorado. welcome package mcconathy, and governorartter richardson. >> we will have opening remarks and then we will start with some questions. >> i thought ritter was going to
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go first, and i was going to copy him, since he has been such a great governor. [applause] >> i have a governor's speech here, which i am not going to give. you are welcome. there are several points i want to make, and i know we have a limited time. i want to thank all of you. this is a great group of renewable energy experts, the biggest landowner in the mexico i have to pay tribute to, ted turner. i know james cameron and so many other notables are here. i think focusing on what ted and chairman -- cameron and t. boone pickens and some of the others to know how to generate public support for issues. my first message is, we have to find new ways of influencing
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the grassroots on climate change and environmental issues. the traditional methods are not working. if you look at political trends in the future, with declining numbers of progress since being elected, both at the federal and state level, new ways of convincing the congress, and while i believe the obama administration has made some important strides, to put environmental issues and climate change issues at the top of the agenda -- i don't have the answer for that. we are talking about new media, internet, blogging, new ways to pressure, bringing young people involved is keep. linking our efforts to the schools. that is my first message. whatever it is we are doing with
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fund-raising and lobbying, it is just not working to get something done. it is working to do some good. my second message is that if it doesn't work at the federal level, you have to go to the states. if you look at the rocky mountain region, with the leadership of governor ritter, you look at schwarzenegger who has been very good on these issues. there are a lot of initiatives that the state level that are working, that involves transmission, energy incentives, and in my state, the nine permits for coal-fired plants, desert rocks, extending incentives, having states invest in renewable energy projects. i believe that has to be a more focused, grass-roots effort, to try to get initiatives pushed
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fourth at the state level. i am a lame-duck governor. i am gone in four months, but i still have four months ago. so is ritter, by the way, so that is ok. in new mexico, through very effective efforts of the internal improvements board, we are going to be the first state to cap carbon. that is good, clap. [applause] and we are doing it through the regulatory process that has just concluded -- well, it has not concluded. for the last seven days, intensive hearings with an individual from the new energy economy, a grass-roots, progressive group, pushing for the initiative that i think it's
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critically important. i believe we are going to succeed. what we are proposing is reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3% from 2010 levels. we are doing that with proposed regulations that we think would add less than 1% to electric prices and a fraction of 1% to oil and gas commodities. we would put a limit on the amount companies would be required to spend to control emissions. these regulations would apply only to electricity generators and to any oil and gas industry that emit more than 25,000 metric tons per year. why is this significant? this is the regulatory process. this is a governor-appointed board that has been sustained in not having to get state
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legislative approval. i will be very proud when i believe -- i believe is going to happen, obviously. i think we are going to take this step, and hopefully this will pressure other states to take similar action. the november 2 referendum in california is going to obviously affect us. but let me just conclude with what else i believe is needed. the rocky mountain region is an example of dramatically strong energy development, both fossil fuels and renewable. i think you just have to look at governor ritter's leadership in this area to recognize that if you have political will and you show some political leadership, you take some risks, we are able to pass long term renewable
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energy incentives. we are able to put what are called hit rules on the energy industry to just make sure they clean up their waste. we are able to take steps to pursue climate change initiatives. the congress is not going to do it, the states are going to do it. the political environment exchanging, but nonetheless, at least in my state, and i think in colorado, governor ritter and i just did an elk corridor. this collaboration between states is another way to promote renewable energy and development. my last point deals with the private sector. i think it is important that we build the manufacturing base in this country, especially for renewable energy. [applause]
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i talked to a lot of these new start-ups in silicon valley, and they are putting their production lines overseas. that is no good. i think we have to find a way to have a progressive business environment. i get in a little trouble with democrats in my state and around the country. as you recall, unforgettable incident as i ran for president reject a forgettable incident in my life as i ran for president. i point is, i think you have to reduce capital gains taxes. i believe you have to have tax cuts to promote business incentives and renewable energy. i think you have to have a tax structure that fosters manufacturing and production and training of our workers. i think that is the manufacturing environment.
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you cannot just get into this tax the rich. i have of you on the tax cuts that are being considered in the congress, but i think we have to develop -- and this is where i believe many of you can come up with incentive packages that really work. not the usual extensions. yes, we have to have a renewable portfolio standard. we don't have that. yes, we have to have extending many of these incentives for solar and wind. yes, we have to find ways to continue some of the climate change legislation at the time of very heavy regulatory difficulties. we have to find a cap on carbon. my conclusion is this. the west is way ahead of other parts of the country on these issues. that is good. second, the rocky mountain area has been the most successful.
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arizona has other problems. that is supposed to be funny. i am not very funny anymore. [laughter] lastly, i will return to my main point. somebody like turner, who thought of cnn, and cameron, who has these gigantic ways to influence the american people, and boone, who was unique in his approach on wind energy, figured out a way to convince the public that we need to move. what we are doing now, and i don't want to dispute one of the best lobbyists in the world here, he used to work for ralph nader. he is now more of an establishment guy, but those traditional ways of getting things done, i think they worked, but we have to do better. i don't have the answer on how
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we can get that done. so that is my nine minutes. [applause] >> in some parts of colorado, ralph nader is an establishment die. i just want you to know that. [laughter] it is great to be on the dais with governor richards and. he has obviously had a great deal of experience in the energy sector before ever became governor. i have great admiration for you and for your leadership. it has been very helpful to me to have mentor ship from south of our southern border. i really do appreciate it. i made this a signature piece of campaigning, not because i thought it was great political strategy, but i had a lot of
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other people i surrounded myself with in campaigning is shared with meet their vision for how colorado could do something. if it is not happening at the federal level, it can happen, and there -- 1 not demonstrate that can happen in away where the state develops and energy ecosystem. i think i was the first to say it. a lot of people are saying are using now, which is fine. i did not trade market, so i don't get paid every time somebody says it, but it was our intention all along, and i think after almost four years, it would be fair to say that we have proved that you can do it. i am going to spend my time talking about what we call the
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new energy economy. it was built upon three different notions. one of those notions was that diversifying our energy portfolio was a positive thing. from the national security perspective, former foreign trade perspective, using domestic resources is really a very good thing. secondly, there are significant internal challenges that we face as a world. that we face as a country, and we use 25% of the world's fossil fuels. we have a responsibility to pay attention to this. for us, being able to demonstrate this link between diversifying our energy portfolio and answering internal challenges was a very important link to make. the final part of it, and we did not know we were going to go into a recession, the final part was to say you can create jobs doing it. you can make this about economic
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development, because there are so many things that are untapped in the way of human potential and human resources and economic potential that we as a country have not really focused on in a serious way, and as a state we have not focused on in a serious way. i was up here in aspen giving a talk about this. there was a professor who said you should not talk about job creation. this is about the climate, the environment. it's easy to be a holy man on top of amount. if you or a government in the downturn, you care about job creation. but we need to do is make the case to the private sector and to the americans that this is a sustainable injury -- sustainable industry that we can focus on and create jobs doing it.
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we focus on this as part of our agenda as governor, and this last legislative session, i signed my 57 bill. it was a clean energy bill 387 different pieces of legislation. [applause] we also put in place a state climate action plan that looked at our state emissions and have the goal of reducing emissions by 20% by 2020. the standard goals that people talk about around the world. some now say that may not be ambitious enough, and we understand that. it was important to link energy policy with climate and to integrate those two so that we were not thinking about two different issues and then it working at cross purposes at some level. it was important that environment became part of the energy discussion.
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we think in colorado, people understand that better than some other places. the time of year at that the pine beetle used to be frozen out, it is warmer, so as a result we have seen the devastation of much of our pine in the state. the third part that was untested was the idea that you could create jobs doing it. we went after this very aggressively the first year that i was governor. we were in a sort of competition with other states to lower with bankers to come to colorado. -- to lure wind makers to colorado. we signed a deal with a
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manufacturing plant for four hundred jobs. in developing the ecosystem that has to do with economic development, we believe that the core of that should be research and development potential. i have said around the world of colorado has the single best research and development corridor of any place in the world record the reason is that no one has ever disagree with me because i -- when i have said that. this is the best corridor. the national renewable energy laboratory, the university of colorado school and the state university, those three schools, leveraging off the work where we
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have pulled ideas from academia and commercialized it. the departing energy has a group -- park and of energy -- the department of energy. that put $15 million worth of research into it and was able to grow the company to over 200 people. the department of energy has doubled up on that and put in a loan guarantee that will allow them to double in size again. the same with another solar company. the research and development we wind.oing on the weeken
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the first menu bar to a plant outside of germany is in colorado. -- first went manufacturing plant. there is a japanese company making little wind turbines that are useful for residential use and dairy farms. they just moved all of. -- just moved to colorado. we are born to put in the clean air department and have matching funds. we will allow communities to think about ways that they could be involved in clean energy programs. we will help give matching funds. schools around colorado that develop renewable energy to power the school, we have ways of helping them.
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people keep coming to me with ideas. we think we should find ways to support diversification of the portfolio, whether from solar or wind. we should do it in a way that can promote job creation. we always said that natural gas was part of the new energy policy. a lot of people came in and started looking at what we are doing. they felt like it was a zero sum game. in the thing you did for renewables was going to cut away from the market share of oil and gas. we kept saying that was not true. we thought we did not do any favors for that perception by saying we had to review the rules on oil and gas. we were using outdated rules
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with new technology. there were not sufficient safeguards for air, water, wildlife, or public health. we had to first go in and change the commission. the commission bylaw had to be controlled by industry. we went about changing the rules. it was a big fight, and had to be stubborn, but we got it done. now we have a greater comfort to do something we were the first in the country to do, which was to pass a bill that said we are going to change one gigawatt of power to natural gas over a five-year period. it will eliminate mercury and reduce co2 and make a difference in terms of public health in the metropolitan area. we did that because we had
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already gone in and modernize the rules on natural gas drilling. we felt comfortable that we really had a schematic in place to protect people and wildlife near the water. it is all part of the new energy economy. a lot of people think about renewable energy. it is more than that. it is clean energy, going to place where we have the ability to address environmental challenges. we think much of what we have done in colorado could be a template for national energy legislation. you cannot divorce those two things, that have to be thought about together. it is not just about renewable energy or energy efficiency. it is in about the entire portfolio, including natural- gas. it can all play and us laying down a template for the rest of
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the world. thank you very much. [applause] >> governor richardson, how does your -- how does that energy secretary help you as governor in this regard? >> i was energy secretary the last two years of the clinton ministration. at the time, the job energy secretary, 70% of the work was managing the national laboratories. you basically -- at the time we had problems with security issues and managing those labs was almost full time. we were the first to pursue some of the renewable energy initiatives, so our schools, research and development, electric cars. at the time, the congress was
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almost of no help whatsoever. a lot of the renewable energy initiatives that we tried to enact did not pass. but it helped me enormously when i ran for governor, because my state, like colorado, we have traditional fossil fuels. we have coal, uranium, oil and gas, and needed to develop our renewable energy industry. we were fortunate to have over national -- we did not have enrail, but we have a university system like colorado that helped us develop a series of renewable energy initiatives. a lot of the things governor ritter said colorado had done, we have done to. -- we have done, too.
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k,did not mention in my tal but it was helpful. i just want to say something about industry. i don't mean to offend anybody here. there is a perception, or the industry point of view, and this is something that i developed since i was energy secretary. i have heard the arguments that in order to have climate change, it is better to do it on a national basis. let the congress do it. don't let the states do it. this is the traditional view of the utilities and the oil and gas industry. they say the same thing, let's do it at the national level. you say to new mexico they are going to wreck the economy bypassing the cap and trade program. the only state that caps
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emissions, we are going to lose jobs. i wish there were a better dialogue that we could develop with the traditional energy industries in developing and pursuing a green energy economy and climate change legislation and renewable energy legislation. what else did not learn when i was energy secretary? that the nuclear industry had a lot of incentives and subsidies. kohl had incentives and subsidies. oil and gas had incentives and subsidies, and renewable did not have any. where are we today? i think the obama administration has done very well and putting money into some of the stimulus funds to develop green jobs. what is the name of the thing? we did not get a grant, but the loan guarantee. i think that is good. but the permanence of the
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incentives for renewables is not there. and it is for the others. so i think this is something i had to battle as energy secretary. they were nonexistent for renewables, and now there are some. i think it is catching up. again, i go back to my point of finding better ways to convince the public and congress. i think your argument that it is creating jobs and cannot do one without the other is great. you have done it in colorado. i think we have done it in mexico. outside of our two states and perhaps california, we are really not doing that well. >> how did you deal with the utilities and coal companies and the legislation is signed last spring? >> we have been very fortunate. we provide about 60% of all the energy to california --
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colorado. excel has been largely supportive of this agenda. they opposed the voter led initiative to do our renewable energy standard at 10%. when everything changed, the political leadership transition, we had democratic majorities in the house and senate. excel looked at our first initiative to double the renewable energy standard. we put in a 2% rate cap. exscel was really supportive of going to 30%, which we did this year. they were going to get 20% by
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2015 under the rate cap. when we went to 30%, we did not change the rate cap. that have been a partner in this. we wanted to talk about the story of collaborating on the bill. we probably would have had a much -- it was not all candy and flowers. it was not an easy deal. it was really a fight to make sure that everyone at the table with their advocating their interest, but there was some level of trust. we did not believe that cole was going to be able to add to the conversation. the coal folks wanted a study.
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they wanted and analysis. for our purposes, we did have natural gas there and the environmental community. we did have the utilities. we were getting some input from the public utility commission, but it is a deliver to body. we had a fairly unusual group of stakeholders. adjusted not have gas producers and environmentalists at the same table. it really is important that there has to be an equity notion in these conversations. you cannot build energy policy on the backs of poor people or people with fixed incomes. we have been very delighted with our relationship with the gas producers and the environmentalists in helping us think about how we do this in no way that respects those folks who live in the margin.
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>> governor richardson, i know you share those concerns. there is always somebody saying that if we do clean energy, it will cost more. >> i think governor ritter is fortunate in having the experience with excel. the cleanest cities as far as climate change our seattle and albuquerque. the former mayor of albuquerque made that happen, marty chavez. unfortunately, like me, he is a lame duck. i just go back to my point. i believe what you did was coalition building early on. we got the public service utility in mexico. they did support us on the
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renewable portfolio standard to go to 20%. all the familiar arguments are ies back from the utility' that if you mexico moves ahead with this cap on carbon, that our economy will be wrecked. that they won a federal standard. all you have to do is look at the united states senate. they are not going to do a federal standard this year. they are not even going to take the bill up. betty after the election, something will happen. this goes back to my point about mobilizing. i guess you go state tuesday. i don't know any other state expertise that is here, but i think you are fortunate to have that coalition with excel.
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in new mexico, we try to bring everybody in. i hate that word, partnership. everyone uses it. as i get older and become more of a lame duck, collaboration is another one. everyone uses them. it is important to sit down together and discuss issues, but we need to develop consensus in this country to wean us away from fossil fuels and create jobs and be environmentally sustainable and responsible citizens. coalition partners that you sometimes invite to be part of this collaboration don't participate, or they try to screw you. they try to kill what you are trying to do. this is what they are trying to do to us, as we move ahead and hopefully the internal improvements board moves ahead and we are the first state to
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cap carbon. >> we call those allies for a day, not partners. >> what you think the keys are to implementing solar and wind in colorado? >> i think we have to keep our focus on research and development. we cannot lose the sense that with research and development, we are just going to get better and better read back to the equity question, if you think about the price of solar and how it has come down just since i have been governor, in the last four years, because a fairly advanced research and development -- and we are lucky. my wife and i met a trip to israel. we were in the and they said the best research facility in the world was the
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natural renewable laboratory. we are doing research without externalizing the cost of carbon emissions from coal. we are not charging people for the true cost of burning coal, which is the cost of carbon and other emissions. if you forced coal companies to do cleanups of mercury and waste in colorado it would be wildly more expensive than what it costs for solar. there are people saying we are going to get to where wind is at nine and a half since per kilowatt hour -- at $nine 0.9
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per hour. people are attracted by the research and development. they're attracted by the advanced things. you know you have gone on too long when the other governor has to raise his hand to get in. sorry about that. [laughter] research and development comes in because the ecosystem is there. companies come to colorado because they like -- people who are inspired by this conversation understand it and want to be a part of that. that is really important for us. >> by the way, i was going to just ask the audience to ask questions, and the first when
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they handed me was, how did you to characters become -- youtube characters become governor? >> -- you two characters become governor? >> i hope you did not really get the question. i just want to add that i think research and development is key. we also need the research labs. the other key is regional transmission, and we do not have that. i was put in charge -- i was told it would be put in charge of the federal energy regulatory commission. it is not true. they do not care what i say. they're under me, but they do not listen to a thing i say. their job is to develop transmission capacity to get as solar and wind from state to state. but they did not do it.
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they're so we can terms of wanting to do anything. it is all about states' rights. i am willing to work with arizona, colorado, some federal directive to transmit this energy. "we are building in new mexico is called -- what we are building in new mexico is called three friends, it connects the three grids. hopefully, that will dramatically increase the capacity of renewable energy. again, with the governor said the commercialization is so important. i want to go back to the manufacturing base. silicon valley has all of these exciting new clean energy technologies. they were going to set up their production operations in china. they were leaving. i said you cannot do that. they said yes we can. we have to develop the
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manufacturing base, and in order to do that, it is not just trade, it is not just work force training of our people, it is actually capitalization and incentivizing renewable energy companies, not to give them handguns, but to give them the same benefits that other fossil fuel -- not to give them hand outs, but to give them the same benefits that other fossil fuel creators have. trying to build a bridge between wyoming, colorado and new mexico. there is great wind that runs through all three of those states. that is a significant thing. the western governors a few years ago met with the head of
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the center for internal quality at the white house. the western governors have done more as a group in thinking about transmission, but in a year's time, not much has happened. in the meantime, they have had all of these other challenges. i am a big fan of the administration. i'm not beating up on the administration, but you need to do it on a federal level. the bp oil spill probably impact of a lot of what they were trying to do, they would be surprised. western governors are a bipartisan group. seriously conservative governors are willing to give the federal government the kind of authority. only modernizing the bread is
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going to really allow us to explore the full potential -- modernizing the grid is going to really allow us to explore the full potential of renewable energy. >> if there is one thing you could do in your last four months, what would you like to do? >> in energy? >> in energy. >> ok. [laughter] >> i want new mexico to be first to cap card been -- carbon. [applause] i cannot directly control the because it is an appointed board, thankfully by me, but they have to deliberate and
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decide what to do. that is michael. we are a small state. -- that is my goal. we are a small state. we are not as big as colorado, but i want us to be first. when you talk about commercialization, research and development, the key is carving greenhouse emissions. that is what is going to give us a clean energy economy. you cannot just give it incentives to solar and wind. you have to curb the greenhouse emissions that is killing of wild life, but i believe this scientifically, evidently very and you have to deal with that. i hope that when congress deals with the energy bill, that will be number one. the portfolio standard will be number two. the other issues will be no. 3.
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this is why i was fretting when they bring house gas component of the energy bill. they did not have the votes. that is a reality. but i think unless we deal with curbing the greenhouse gas emissions, what we're talking about here, and this is also a job creation issue, is not going to happen. that is my last from four months wish in energy. if you want to hear some others, i will tell you. >> i think we have to have national energy policy and it has to be linked with climate policy. if the next governor wants to work on this, i think they can absolutely move this agenda and
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a positive direction, but this is not impossible to do. a lot of people probably thought it was impossible to do four years ago. it was my team who inspired maybe. you can do this. you can pass energy policy that inspires this country in a clean way to use energy resources. we have an import bill for foreign oil. that is its own issue. to say that we need integrated policy that is energy policy, climate policy, energy and economic development policy, and then do it as a country, we have a template to assume the
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leadership role that should be our place as america, an example to the rest of the world. if i were king for a day that is what i would do. [applause] >> i appreciate both of you working so tirelessly and passionately on this. governor richardson, you mentioned young people. my own experience is that my children came at me like fire breathing dragons when they got out of college. my partner and i own 11 of the 21 offshore pipelines in california at the time. my son compared me to old joe kennedy, a bootlegger. the resonated with me on a number of ways.
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it always gets me to thinking of the story that i told one night when we were talking about the movie, "climate refugees." my youngest son and i watched the documentary about the civil rights movement in the 1980's. he must've been six years old at the time. we were watching the fire hoses and the young children, and he said, where were you? i said, i was your age, i was 10. he said, where was poppi? i thought about that. i would not want my grandchildren to ask me where i was when this was going on. [applause]
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it is just an old southern thing to have to tell a story. we have two minutes. if somebody would ask denies question -- ask the nice question? i did make up, governor richards and. >> how can our states or together to advance renewable energy? >> i think we already are. we're trying to develop the transmission authority that allows us to pull wind off of the grid, but also solar. it is for that reason, inspired
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by that idea. >> i think our national labs, the collaboration's of the ies.ersity' we are two governors who are progressive and friends. we have done a lot together. the environmental movement is not just renewable energy. somehow, maybe in this room, i do not see this, and i do not see it at other environmental gatherings, protecting our environment is also protecting our wildlife, our natural parks, our wilderness area, our open spaces, our ability to live in an environment that is a sound environment. colorado, of course, has an excellent record there too, as does new mexico,


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